NEW YORK - Fellow officers say New Yorkers should be "petrified" after a uniformed NYPD lieutenant was attacked by two men at a subway station over the weekend.
Police said NYPD Lt. Gypsy Pichardo was hospitalized after responding to a train conductor's call for help Saturday night at the 238th Street Station in Kingsbridge, the Bronx.
On scene, Pichardo attempted to break up a fight and kick two weapon-carrying provocateurs off of the 1 train.
Authorities say the two men refused to leave the train, and instead attacked Pichardo, hitting him in the face and body.
"I wasn't completely shocked, and that's what's scary -- that this happened to one of our uniformed officers," said Louis Turco, president of the Lieutenant's Benevolent Association. "We've seen these dramatic confrontations of what our officers are going through on a daily basis."
Pichardo, a 17-year veteran of the force and a member of the New York Dominican Officers Organization, required stitches on his face and suffered damage to his eye, which will require a specialist.
The fact that the attackers went after a uniformed officer should worry everyone, Turco said.
"Every New Yorker should be petrified of that, really every New Yorker [that] sees that should be petrified of that. It's not just the subway. You should be petrified walking the street if this is what happens when people are that emboldened," Turco said.
Photos of Pichardo after the attack show him bloodied, with one eye swollen shut.
"That's sad, it just goes to show you, it's a sign of the times," one subway rider told FOX 5 NY.
Turco is calling for severe penalties for the alleged attackers.
"The punishment should fit the crime. This can't be a slap on the wrist, because if it is, the next New Yorker who doesn't have a gun or taser or a uniform, God help them," Turco said.
Other officers chased the suspects and arrested Marquise Webb of Yonkers and Brian Innocent of New Rochelle. The NYPD says they are charged with half a dozen crimes. A knife, a boxcutter and a straight razor were recovered at the scene.