UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan (PIX11) — An assailant stabbed a man aboard an Upper West Side subway train late Wednesday, then was chased off by a pepper spray-wielding friend of the victim, in the latest violent incident in New York City’s transit system, according to authorities.

The run-in began aboard a northbound No. 2 train near the 72nd Street station around 11 p.m. when the attacker stabbed the victim, 26, in the leg and finger, officials said. A female friend of the victim then discharged pepper spray at the assailant, who ran off the train and fled on a different train, police said.

The victim was taken to an area hospital in what authorities described as stable condition. 

The suspect, described as a man in his 40s or 50s last seen wearing dark clothing, was being sought by police early Thursday. The circumstances that preceded the stabbing were not immediately clear.

The assault came amid a spike in crimes in the city’s transit system that has left many commuters on edge and lawmakers searching for answers.

Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).