CHICAGO (WLS) --A 22-year-old man was stabbed after he stepped in to help a family being harassed on a CTA bus. He remains hospitalized in stable condition.
"He got me one time right here in my right shoulder," Jose Santiago said.
The reluctant Good Samaritan showed where a knife-wielding attacker stabbed him after he tried to help a woman and her kids being harassed by the man on a CTA bus. His sister recorded his thoughts from his hospital bedside with her cellphone.
"He got in my face and said, 'what are you trying to do?' I'm like, 'I'm trying to help this lady,'" Santiago said.
Santiago was headed to a physical therapy session for a hand injury on a Diversey Avenue bus Monday. Santiago said he noticed a man and two women bothering a woman and her kids over where she'd placed her stroller.
Santiago said when the bus driver did not intervene, he decided to step in and got up from his seat in the back of the bus, walking to the front where woman was being harassed.
"He was like yelling at her and telling her that she can't put it there. It looked like she didn't really speak good English and he kept being rude to her. Then I seen him kick the stroller and there was a baby in the stroller. I had to get up. I was like, what if he hits the lady next?" he said.
Santiago said he thought he defused the situation, but when he got off the bus at Western, he learned the incident was far from over. He said the group followed him off the bus, and that's when he saw one of the women hand the man a knife.
"He tried to stab me a couple of times and I fell to the ground and he got me," Santiago said.
Santiago remains hospitalized three days later with a punctured lung. His mother said she is proud of her son's heroism.
"I'm not surprised because that's the kind of person he is. He sees somebody, they need help, he comes and he helps them. He's just kind, he's a kind kid," Gladys Santiago said.
Bystanders took pictures of the attack, helping police arrest 23-year-old Gildalthi Rodriguez.
Santiago's family is upset that he has only been charged with misdemeanor battery.
"It's disgusted with what Chicago's doing. It should have been, literally, attempted murder. Honestly, because it could be have been fighting instead of a weapon and he literally attacked my brother," said Elizabeth Ramos, the victim's sister.
Still, Santiago said he wouldn't hesitate to help someone else and hopes to meet the person who helped him after he was wounded.
"He saved me. I could have been passed out in the street if it weren't for him," he said.
Santiago has yet to find the Good Samaritan who helped him in his time of need.
After undergoing surgery to removed fluid from his lung, doctors said he is expected to make a full recovery.
Police have not said if any other arrests are pending.