EAST VILLAGE, Manhattan (WPIX) — Cousins Zack Dahhan and Mo Cheikh said they weren’t able to sleep after Tuesday morning’s violent attack on a Brooklyn subway; the pair said they even talked about wanting to catch the suspect, Frank R. James, as they came into the city from New Jersey Wednesday morning.
And, according to Dahhan, the two did just that.
“We saw him and we said ‘oh my God,'” Dahhan said.
Dahhan told a cohort of reporters he and his cousin spotted the suspect walking in the East Village with a bag, and then warned other pedestrians not to approach him. That’s when they say they spotted police, flagged them down and pointed them toward James.
“[James] was walking as if he didn’t do anything, man,” Cheikh said.
The NYPD, MTA and TWU transit union offered a combined $50,000 reward for information that led to an arrest and conviction in the case. The NYPD on Wednesday declined to identify the tipster that led them to James’ location.
Law enforcement officials told The Associated Press that James called to report his own location to police himself. They weren’t authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity.
James was initially spotted in a McDonald’s at East 6th Street and First Avenue, police said. Officers headed there after the CrimeStoppers tip but James wasn’t there, so the officers searched the neighborhood and found him nearby, officials said.
Tahhan thanked the police for their quick action catching James. Cheikh, who told reporters gathered near the scene he rides the subway, said his next ride is going to feel safer because of the arrest.
New York Attorney General Letitia James thanked Dahhan. She saw a video of him explaining what happened on Twitter.
“Thank you for your bravery today, Zack,” she tweeted. “All of New York is grateful.”