BY DIANE S. WILLIAMS
On an otherwise quiet afternoon, two City Parks Workers protected a desperate and bloodied woman fleeing with her young children from a knife-wielding attacker in the Port Richmond section of Staten Island on March 24.
“We were about to finish work when we heard a woman screaming for help,” said Edwin Medina, a City Parks Worker in District 1 of the city Dept. of Parks and Recreation for five years.
“She was running towards us, terrified and drenched in blood wearing just a tee shirt,” Medina said. “She had a toddler tucked under each arm. We ran to help her and rushed her into the truck to safety. Then we called 911.”
“At first I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” said his coworker, Mamadou N’doye. “Then it registered. We had to think fast because we didn’t know what was next, whether the man had a gun or what.”
“They were all in shock,” said Medina. “We just tried to keep them calm and let them know help was on the way.”
When police arrived, the armed attacker—the woman’s live-in boyfriend—ran back to the house he shared with her and the children, barricaded himself inside and set the place ablaze as cops closed in to make an arrest.
Emergency Medical Technicians arrived and took the crying woman, who was stabbed numerous times, and her 2-year-old, who sustained a deeply cut lip, to a nearby hospital. Her 3-year-old, who witnessed the attack, was safe in the Parks Dept. truck. The bloodstained Parks vehicle became part of the police investigation.
“It was very sad, there was blood everywhere,” said N’doye. “What that woman went through, to see her desperately fleeing and carrying her kids to safety. We both have children of our own. It brings tears to my eyes.”
“We were willing to deal with whatever the attacker had, if it came to that, a gun, whatever,” said Medina.
Fortunately for the two Local 1505 members, the domestic abuse incident didn’t escalate further. “The police told us we saved that woman and her children’s lives,” Medina said.
“These members are heroes and should be commended for going above and beyond and risking their personal safety to help this woman and her children, who they didn’t even know,” said Local 1505 President Dilcy Benn.
“Parks Workers not only keep city parks clean, they do more to keep parks safe—often being the first to prevent crimes and help New Yorkers whenever help is needed.”