Sean Conaboy, a resident of Sunset Park and a parishioner at St. Michael’s Church, was waiting for a train at the Union Square Station in Manhattan on May 19 when he heard a woman screaming.
He rushed over and found a woman being attacked by a man with a knife. Conaboy immediately tackled the assailant, who was later arrested on four felony counts.
The incident was the second violent crime at the Union Square subway station within seven days.
Last week, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio and community members gathered at the Diocese of Brooklyn’s headquarters in Windsor Terrace to honor his bravery.
“It was an honor to be with Sean this morning and recognize him for his selfless sacrifice on behalf of his fellow New Yorker,” said Bishop DiMarzio. “Sean was the Good Samaritan here when he stopped the attack and put his faith into action.”
The Most Reverend Kevin Sweeney, Bishop of the Diocese of Paterson, New Jersey, who previously served as Pastor of St. Michael’s, also praised the actions of his former parishioner.
“Sean’s Catholic upbringing nurtured him and made him ready for that moment, with the help of the Holy Spirit and with the protection of St. Michael, he stepped into that battle and saved someone who was being attacked,” said Bishop Sweeney. “As a native New Yorker, it is great to see New Yorkers being who New Yorkers are; we respond when others are in need.”
Conaboy remained selfless throughout the ceremony, reminding those present that violent crimes have a serious emotional and physical impact on victims.
“I am moved beyond words and say thank you to both Bishop DiMarzio and Bishop Sweeney,” Conaboy said. “As honored as I am to be here, there is a victim in all of this, and it is not me. I think she deserves all of our prayers from this day forward.”
The assault Conaboy stopped was one of many throughout the year. Crime has risen significantly throughout New York City, with the NYPD reporting close to 200 felony assaults on the subway in the first six months of 2021 alone.