Most straphangers shudder at the thought of being locked in a subway car with a man they watched stab another passenger. That’s what happened to the thirty or so subway riders on the uptown D train Saturday, when Jerry Sanchez allegedly plunged a steak knife into 36-year-old Dwight Johnson’s neck, killing him.
When the train pulled into the Seventh Avenue stop at 53rd Street, the NYPD told the motorman to keep the doors locked tight so Sanchez, 37, couldn’t escape. Terrified passengers huddled on one end of the car for five minutes waiting for the cops, while Sanchez calmly sat in his seat, according to reports.
“I would have been petrified,” said Toni Toraine, a 40-year-old Manhattan resident. “I’m not sure if it was the right thing, but at least they got him.”
“It was bad judgment,” said Jeremy Garber, a 55-year-old New Jersey resident who rides the subway often. “He could have been a mass murderer.”
“If they didn’t lock the doors, they wouldn’t have been able to catch him,” said Philip Rodriguez, a 57-year-old Brooklyn resident. “But they put people at risk. So it’s a tough question.”
Locking subway doors to keep a suspected sexual predator inside is common practice, according to NYPD Transit Chief James Hall.