Exactly 27 years to the day after Bernhard Goetz — famous in New York lore as the “Subway Vigilante’’ — shot four young men he thought were threatening him on a train, one of them killed himself by swallowing prescription pills in a low-rent Bronx motel, authorities said.
James Ramseur, 45, was found dead of an apparent overdose at 11:30 a.m. yesterday at the Paradise Hotel at 2990 Boston Road, law-enforcement sources said last night.
Ramseur had gotten out of prison only 17 months ago, after serving 25 years upstate for raping a young woman on a Bronx rooftop.
The shooting took place on Dec. 22, 1984, when Ramseur, 18, and neighborhood pals Darrell Cabey, Barry Allen and Troy Canty, all 19, were riding a downtown No. 2 train.
Cabey, who was paralyzed when Goetz shot him at close range, won a $43 million lawsuit. Goetz declared bankruptcy and hasn’t paid a dime.
Cabey, by far the most seriously injured, still is confined to a wheelchair and functions with the intellect of an 8-year-old.
Allen was convicted of robbery in 1991 and released from prison four years later.
Canty racked up a string of petty offenses and once served 18 months in a residential drug- treatment program.
The NY Times has more:
Mr. Ramseur was already incarcerated at the time of the trial, having been convicted of raping, sodomizing and robbing a young pregnant woman in 1986. He was conditionally released in 2002, but he returned to prison for a parole violation in 2005. He finished his sentence in July 2010.
I can only think that Goetz should have had more training and ammo so this particular chapter of history could have been closed much earlier.