NYC honors Scarsdale teacher for heroism during subway slashing attack

New York City Mayor Eric Adams gifted John Catania with a proclamation to honor the heroism he displayed on a subway in November.

News 12 Staff

Jan 12, 2023, 1:29 PM

Updated 497 days ago


A Scarsdale teacher has been being honored for his heroic act on a New York City subway.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams declared Tuesday “John Catania Day,” and gifted Catania with a proclamation to honor the heroism he displayed on a subway back in November.
"You showed moral and physical courage when you swiftly came to the aid of a young woman who was being attacked with a bladed weapon," said Adams.
Catania, 29, a Scarsdale art teacher, was riding a southbound L train around 10:30 p.m. on Nov. 22 when a homeless man followed 28-year-old Diamond Phillips, and slashed her on the forehand, and the hand and made anti-Muslim statements. "I saw someone get attacked, and it was very violent out of nowhere, and someone needed to do something," said Catania.
That “someone” turned out to be him. "I was standing there, it fell on my shoulders I guess. I mean everyone else kind of jumped away..I mean what else do you do?"
Catania intervened, and was himself struck in the head, needing 26 staples to close the wound. "I think we all see these videos of crimes happening. Sometimes the most alarming thing in these videos, is all of the people just kind of standing around, like ‘wait there's a whole train of people, a bunch of grown men not one person stands up?’ and John was one of those people that stands up," said Taher Alhadi, of the Muslim-American Society of New York.
"I just tried to do my best, tried to intervene and stop any more violence," said Catania.

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