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Irvington Fire Chief Says He First Thought Stabbing Was Purse Snatching

Irvington Fire Chief Chris DePaoli assisted in a situation at the Irvington Train Station last Wednesday evening.
Irvington Fire Chief Chris DePaoli assisted in a situation at the Irvington Train Station last Wednesday evening. Photo Credit: Lara DePaoli
Irvington Fire Chief Chris DePaoli assisted in a situation that could have been fatal if he wasn' t at the right place at the the right time.
Irvington Fire Chief Chris DePaoli assisted in a situation that could have been fatal if he wasn' t at the right place at the the right time. Photo Credit: Lara DePaoli
Irvington Fire Chief Chris DePaoli
Irvington Fire Chief Chris DePaoli Photo Credit: Lara DePaoli

IRVINGTON, N.Y. —  Irvington Fire Chief Chris DePaoli was hailed as a hero last week for stopping a stabbing that could have potentially become a fatal situation at the Irvington train station.

Police believe Sidney Brown, a 51-year-old Mount Vernon, man in the relationship with 36-year-old Deborah Henry of Yonkers, waited for her at the train station and ambushed her with a knife.

DePaoli fought off the attacker with a softball bat just before a nearby Irvington police officer used a taser on the man.

"I'm not a hero," said DePaoli. "I just did what I would have hoped that anyone else would have done in that situation."

Irvington Mayor Brian Smith was quick to cite the role of DePaoli and the officer.

"The real story is the heroism of our local fire chief and an off-duty Irvington police officer who were first on the scene," said Smith.

"I will add that we are lucky to have such dedicated professionals at the Irvington Police Department, Irvington Fire Department and the Irvington Volunteer Ambulance Corps," said Mayor Smith.

DePaoli said that he happened to be passing in the area when he saw the argument between a couple become violent.

"At first, I thought that it was a purse snatching, so I took my daughter's baseball bat and I told the male (Brown) to stop and to get off of the female (Henry)," DePaoli said.

Then the off-duty police officer came to assist, using a taser, before additional police arrived.

"Then the woman was immediately taken to the hospital and the male was taken in handcuffs to the hospital," said DePaoli.

DePaoli also assisted with crowd and traffic control.

"This is definitely not something that happens in Irvington," said DePaoli.

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