New Yorkers are grappling with the inaction of more than two dozen pedestrians who didn't help a Good Samaritan bleeding to death on a sidewalk after he tried to save a woman from a knife-wielding man in Queens, N.Y.
Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax, 31, was stabbed at about 7:20 a.m. on April 18 as he tried to help a woman being threatened by a knife-wielding man. Surveillance video from an apartment building captured Tale-Yax chasing the attacker before collapsing on the sidewalk. Both the woman and attacker fled.
Over the next hour and 20 minutes, more than 25 people walked by and did nothing. By the time paramedics arrived, it was too late and Tale-Yax was dead.
Most ignored him. Some stared at him lying on the sidewalk, video showed. One person even took a picture with his cell phone. Another man rolled him over, exposing his bloody stab wounds, but then he walked away.
In a city accustomed to anonymity and violence, New Yorkers were still disappointed with others.
"It's man's inhumanity toward man," one man told the CBC's David Common. "They don't care. You know, they look at someone … 'Oh, maybe he's drunk.' They don't care if he's hurt … you know, to stop and say, 'Can I help you?'"
Psychologists attribute this behaviour to the bystander effect, also known as the Genovese syndrome, where the more people are around, the less likely it is for the person in trouble to get help.
The most infamous example of this behaviour, which ushered in a new field of psychology, was the rape and murder of Kitty Genovese in 1964 in the Kew Gardens section of Queens.
Her screams were heard by a dozen people, but each assumed someone else would call the police.
In the most recent case, police said they are still looking for the woman and her attacker.