Southern Brooklyn

If You Are Getting Stabbed By Maksim Gelman, The Police Don’t Have To Help You


Remember Maksim Gelman, the lunatic who went on a stabbing spree that resulted in the tragic deaths of four people and 28 hour manhunt throughout the entire city? Well, the last person Gelman attacked, 42-year-old Joseph Lozito, is suing the city for failing to intervene when he was being attacked by Gelman on the subway with police in view of the whole incident, according to a report by the New York Post.

Lozito, who suffered seven stab wounds mainly to the back of the head and face, recognized Gelman on an uptown 3 train and tackled him to the ground. According to Lozito, police officers Terrance Howell and Tamara Taylor, who were stationed in the adjacent operator’s cab, did nothing until Lozito managed to pin Gelman to the ground.

In their defense, the city is (somehow) arguing that a police officer has no “special duty” to protect a citizen, even if they are being attacked in plain sight.

The city’s arguments are even murkier considering that the original NYPD affidavit claimed that it was Howell who had heroically tackled Gelman, not Lozito. According to the Post, it was this point that angered Lozito and spurred his lawsuit:

Lozito says a grand-jury member later told him Howell admitted on the stand that he hid during the attack because he thought Gelman had a gun.

An angry Lozito decided to sue the city for negligence, arguing the cops should have recognized Gelman and prevented, or reacted more quickly to, the assault.

The city routinely settles such litigation but is playing hardball with Lozito, insisting his demand for unspecified money damages be tossed because the police had no “special duty” to protect him or any individual on the train that day.

Experts say it’s a long-standing legal precedent requiring police to put the public safety of all ahead of any one individual’s rights.

Is it just me, or is this one of the most convoluted and bumbling defenses ever put forward? Police officers encounter crazed killer and either fail to recognize him or are hiding from him in fear. Crazed killer tries to kill a citizen in plain sight of police officers. Stabbed citizen pins killer, cops finally emerge, take credit for stopping said lunatic, then later claim they were not obligated to assist a citizen getting brutally stabbed in plain sight. Y’know, allegedly, or something.

Whether or not Lozito’s bizarre case goes to trial is now in the hands of a judge.

Comment policy


  1. ” “special duty” to protect him or any individual on the train that day. ”
    sooo why do we have police then?

  2. nahh nahhh the cops are there to ticket people and give people shit, and arrest innocent people who pull into their driveways slowly by saying they were gonna run them over…..

  3. …..And, if the Police will not protect us…………..and by dis-arming law abiding citizens, we cannot protect ourselves……….then what???????? We may just need a militia of armed citizens, since out Government is deteriorating already? I’m confused….and becoming more and more angry. Aren’t you?

  4. Let’s add to that. As we went through here awhile ago: if someone breaks into your house in New York, you are PROHIBITED BY LAW from defending your house. Hmm, no guns allowed, police not obligated to protect you, and not allowed to defend your house.

    The occupation of criminal is looking increasingly lucrative in New York!

  5. Hard to believe THAT’S the defense. I can understand if the police weren’t sure what was happening, didn’t see, or were just plain slow in responding. But what a defense! Normally I’m against bullspit lawsuits, but if this one flushes out such a bad philosophy into the open, then on with it.

  6. “Lozito says a grand-jury member later told him Howell admitted on the
    stand that he hid during the attack because he thought Gelman had a gun.”

    I didn’t know that hiding was a part of the oath that officers take in front of the mayor, the police commissioner, family, friends and fellow officers.

    Thank you Officer Howell for letting us in on how police work is done. Now I know what to expect the next time I need help from NYPD . . .

  7. If police on duty aren’t there to “protect and defend” what is their purpose? Issuing parking tickets and meeting traffic violation summons quotas are not enough.

  8. Fucking NYPD has always been a lawless, racist, lazy, hateful bunch of louts at their core. March them all into the Hudson and start over.

  9. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Lozito and he is the most humble person you’ll ever meet. His has no ill feelings towards the NYPD just because two negligent individuals failed to protect him while he was basically doing their job. I can’t believe a judge won’t grant him what he clearly deserves!

  10. […] As we’ve previously reported, Lozito took his case to court, arguing that officers should have helped him while he made the effort to pin down Gelman, but now the New York Post is reporting that a judge has thrown out the case on the grounds that officers were not obligated to protect Lozito during the fight. […]

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