An off-duty EMT who jumped out of her car after witnessing a brutal stabbing on the Bronx River Parkway gave the teenage victim a fighting chance at survival, police said Tuesday.
Rowan Thomas, 21, told the Daily News she abandoned her car and rushed to the 14-year-old victim’s side Monday afternoon, even though he was surrounded by teens with knives and bats.
“They started running off, and even if they hadn’t started running off, I would have gone in there,” Thomas said. “I just knew that I had to help, and I knew that if I didn’t, someone else might not.”
The teen, identified by sources as Esaid Hoke, remains in critical condition at Jacobi Medical Center after the 5:30 p.m. attack.
His attackers chased him down and knifed him 14 times, after two groups arranged to “meet up and fight” at a playground near E. Gun Hill Road, NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said. Cops have not made any arrests.
“(She) potentially could have saved this 14-year-old’s life. So, a good job there,” Shea said of Thomas’ brave effort.
A friend of Hoke’s family, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the teen was conscious and talking, but will likely lose a kidney.
Thomas, who works for SeniorCare EMS in the Bronx, was headed home to Westchester County and stuck in traffic when she saw a large group of teenagers in a dirt construction pit on the Bronx River Parkway, between the Allerton Ave. and Gun Hill Road exits.
“As I got closer, I realized some of the teenagers had weapons on them, and there was kicking and punching going on,” she said. She soon saw the victim at the “bottom of the pile” covered in blood.
“I started honking on my car horn and yelling at them,” she said, before identifying herself as a medical professional and warning the gang that she would call 911.
The teens scattered, and as the victim was crawling up to other cars asking for help, she pulled over and hopped two highway barriers to help him.
A few other drivers stopped to help — one woman called 911, while others gave her a towel to compress his wounds and a scarf to use as a tourniquet.
“I told him to basically stare at me even if I wasn’t making eye contact,” she said. “I kept asking him, what is my name, so he kept saying my name over and over again.”
Police and an Empress ambulance arrived on the scene, and she gave her car keys to a police officer, then got into the ambulance with the boy.
“He was scared. He kept telling me that he was scared, and he was having trouble breathing and that he was in pain. He knew it wasn’t good,” she said.
Cops said the fight started at French Charley’s Playground near Webster Ave.
“There’s been a dispute that’s been brewing for some time,” Shea said. “There was a female involved in this, but I don’t think it’s the traditional two men fighting over a woman.”
Police are also investigating whether a nonfatal shooting later in the evening was retaliation for the stabbing.