The man who helped cops capture the suspected killer of a Columbia University grad student told The Post on Friday, “I was pretty sure I might die” during the attack.
Still-shaken lawyer Gregory Johnson, 30, recounted his “terrifying” ordeal — as a German tourist who may have been stabbed by the same suspect also recalled his own brush with death.
Johnson said he and his girlfriend were walking his dog Peanut, a long-haired, dachshund-corgi mix, around West Drive in Central Park in Manhattan about 11 p.m. Thursday
“As we were running, we heard him running behind us,” Johnson said of his assailant.
“I turned and this guy swung at me with a kitchen knife.
“He didn’t have any expression on his face. I could only see his eyes, and he was just staring me down.”
Johnson said he and his girlfriend “pushed each other out of danger,” adding, “When we fell into the woods, he stopped coming toward me.”
The pair began yelling at the crazed stranger, “F–k you!” and “F–k off!” he said.
“When I got up, I had to go toward him to go toward the exit,” Johnson said.
“He backed up, we circled each other,” and then both Johnson and his girlfriend were able to flee, the shaken man said.
The assailant’s only words were to mumble something like, “Oh, f–k me?” when the couple cursed at him, Johnson said.
The Upper East Side resident said that when he spotted an NYPD patrol car, he ran over and told the cops, “Some guy just tried to stab me in the park.”
The cops had Johnson hop into the back seat and “drove over the curb to get onto the road in the park,” he said.
“Then we came up on [the suspect] walking in the park not far off. I pointed him out, and the police put their lights on and told him to stop and get down over their intercom,” Johnson said.
“Then he stopped and got on the ground while they hopped out to cuff him and search him.”
Johnson called the entire incident “crazy” and “just so unexpected.”
“I can tell you, it was terrifying,” he said.
“Absolutely, in the moment, I was pretty sure I might die.”
Cops suspect the man arrested in the park, reputed gang member Vincent Pinkney, 25, is responsible for the fatal stabbing of Columbia doctoral student Davide Giri, 30, and the wounding of Italian tourist Roberto Malaspina, 27, during a bloody rampage just minutes earlier, law-enforcement sources have said.
Sources have said they also are eying Pinkney in the stabbing of another man in the area less than a day earlier.
That victim, German tourist Thomas Ambühler, 43, told The Post he needed 10 stitches in his neck after he was knifed around 12:30 a.m. Thursday just outside Morningside Park.
Ambühler said he and his boyfriend were near the corner of West 110th Street and Manhattan Avenue when a man wearing a baseball cap ran toward them.
“I thought the guy was going to hug me and the next thing there was a stab wound deep in my neck,” he said.
“My boyfriend told me to put my hand on my neck, and that’s when I saw the blood.”
Ambühler, who was treated afterward at Mount Sinai Morningside hospital, said, “The doctor said if the knife was an inch further left it would have sliced a main artery — and who knows if I would have survived?”
Ambühler said neither he nor his boyfriend got a good look at the attacker.