PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The man being hailed as a hero says the true heroes are the New York City police officers who arrested a suspected serial stabber.

Forty-year-old Joe Lozito didn’t expect to spend his Valentine’s Day talking about how he fought off an accused serial stabber. However, his story and his courage showed a city on edge, what it means to have true heart.

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Stitches to the right side of his head and a bruised eye are just some of the visible wounds on Joe Lozito. The Northeast Philadelphia man who commutes to New York City for work, was attacked Saturday morning on a subway by a man police say they had been looking for since Friday.

“He takes out a knife and looks at me and says you’re going to die, you’re going to die,” said Lozito.

Lozito says he had no idea police were looking for 23-year-old Maksim Gelman of Brooklyn. Gelman is wanted for the fatal stabbings of 3 people and the murder, by car, of another person. The killings happened in a span of 28 hours according to police.

When Gelman pulled a knife out on Lozito, Lozito was determined not to become another victim.

“I decided to fight,” said Lozito. “I didn’t want to die. I have a family. They need me. I knew that if I didn’t do anything, he was going to carve me to pieces.”

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Lozito tackled Gelman to the ground right before two police officers jumped in to make the arrest.

Lozito says right after the ordeal, he called his wife Andrea. At the time she was working at Northeast Racquet Fitness Center in north Philadelphia.

“When I got the phone call, I couldn’t believe it,” said Andrea Lozito. “I was on one hand shocked, but another, grateful he wasn’t seriously, seriously hurt.”

Those who work with and know Andrea have a new name for her husband. “He’s a hero, he’s a hero!” said Northeast Racquet Fitness Center employee Tracy Bartorilla. “We’re so proud of him.”

Watch the video…

Reported by Jericka Duncan, CBS 3

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