NYC Subways Hit by Rash of Stabbings

Police were questioning a man Wednesday after four people were stabbed within hours of each other, two of them tourists from Canada who were wounded outside a trendy hotel and another a Texas visitor critically injured by a silent subway attacker.

The latest incident happened about 4 a.m. Wednesday, when a man stabbed the two Canadian women, ages 22 and 25, as they left the "W" hotel in Times Square. Both women were hospitalized in stable condition.

A 25-year-old man was taken into custody for questioning after a hotel employee followed him and called the police emergency dispatcher, police said.

Detectives also were trying to learn if the man was involved in the two earlier stabbings, both in Manhattan's subway system.

About an hour before the attack on the women, a 30-year-old man waiting with a friend on a subway platform in Rockefeller Center was stabbed twice in the stomach, apparently during a robbery, police said. He was hospitalized in stable condition.

Tuesday afternoon, Christopher McCarthy, 21, of Houston, was taken to a hospital in critical condition after he was stabbed by a man sitting across from him in a subway car on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

Police said the attack was random and apparently unprovoked. No words were exchanged between McCarthy and the man, who police said was in his 20s and wore all black. The man left the train and police launched an extensive search of the subway tunnels and nearby Central Park.

Police said McCarthy was riding with his girlfriend on the downtown train around 4 p.m. when he was stabbed

"Christopher is still critical, but they say he will make it," his uncle, James McCarthy, told the Daily News.

The incident drew comparisons to the 1990 death of 22-year-old Brian Watkins, a Utah tourist who was stabbed to death in a Manhattan subway station while defending his mother during a robbery. Seven youths were convicted in the murder; all were sentenced to maximum terms of 25 years to life in prison.

Watkins' parents later sued the city, arguing the transit agency failed to provide a safe subway and the city's ambulance service responded too slowly. They agreed in 1998 to accept a $300,000 settlement of the $100 million wrongful death suit.

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