According to the Licorice Pizza star, he was held at knifepoint one time while picking up his daughter, Lea. The horrifying moment happened in October 2019 while he was taking the subway and listening to music using his headphones.
He recalled, “I used to walk around New York City all the time with these [headphones] on—this was pre-pandemic—I was on the subway [at] 11:45 to pick Lea downtown at Russian school and I got held up at knifepoint. It was pretty insane. I realized I had gotten way, way too comfortable in the city. My guard was down.”
“I was all the way at the end of the subway,” the actor added. “I felt somebody coming up. I thought, ‘Oh, they want to take a photo or something.’ As I turned, I’m up against the post like it’s the French Connection or some s–t, and I turned. I looked down and I see a knife.”
He said that the knife was approximately “two-and-a-half, three inches” long with a wooden handle. He didn’t panic at all and instead thought that it was a “nice knife”.
He explained, “I have my headphones on the whole time. I can’t hear anything. I’m just listening to music. So it’s scored, the whole thing was scored. I look up, I see the person’s eyes, and I’m taken by how young they are.”
So what did he do? His instincts told him to run and he did. He said, “I jumped over the turnstile, hid around the white, tiled foyer entrance to the subway [and] took my phone out. I took a photo of him and then I chased him up the stairs.” He took two more photos of the culprit before heading towards two police officers on the street. He was unharmed but they were concerned maybe he was stabbed and wasn’t aware of it.
He recalled, “I’m like talking to them, and the guy kept saying—it was so interesting—he’s like, ‘Are you stabbed?’ I was like, ‘No, no,’. He was like, ‘Check to see if you’re stabbed.’ What happens is people get stabbed and they’re in shock.”
Cooper didn’t mention anything more about what happened to the assailant after that because he returned to the subway and picked up Lea after going to the police. He said the whole thing was “crazy”.