Last Sunday, 32 year-old Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax was stabbed while coming to the aid of a woman being attacked by a knife-wielding assailant. He bled to death on a Queens sidewalk as almost 25 pedestrians walked by.
Tale-Yax, a homeless Guatemalan immigrant, was stabbed at 5:40 a.m. in Queens after chasing off the attacker. The video shows most pedestrians walking by after with little more than a sideways glance. One man takes a cell phone picture; another shakes him before walking way. Finally, fire-fighters arrived at 7:23 a.m., nearly an 1 1/2 hour after the attack. According to the New York Post, the fire-fighters were "responding to a 911 call of a non-life-threatening injury". By that time, Tale-Yax was dead. His killer is still at large.
With stories like this, the first impulse is to imagine you would have been the one to stop and help Tale-Yax. That's probably what these people thought, too. Until they didn't.