David Martin was on his way to work Friday afternoon when someone blindsided him and shoved the lifelong New Yorker off the subway platform where he caught the train.
He was attacked one day before city and state leaders unveiled their new subway safety planintending to flood the transit system with more cops, cameras and build out more robust mental health care facilities.
“In a second I’m on the tracks, I got pushed extremely hard,” he told News 4 by phone Sunday. “I’m just happy to be alive, to be honest with you.”
Martin has a long recovery after he was body-checked at the Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenues station in Bushwick just ahead of the evening commute. Videos released over the weekend show his attacker charge, seemingly unprompted, and shove him to the trackbed.
Police said they identified the attacker as 41-year-old Lamale McRae, who they tracked down and arrested Monday. Officials said wanted fliers handed out in Times Square aided in the arrest.
“I’m in excruciating pain. It’s hard for me to get into bed and out of bed or walk to the bathroom,” Martin said.
“It’s a traumatic event. I don’t know what other victims have done, but I do not know how to deal with this,” his mother, Audrey Martin said, expressing frustration after the family had not heard anything from the city.
But hours later, the 32-year-old said he got a call from Mayor Eric Adams.
“They’re really trying to help me, trying to talk to me and help in any way possible,” Martin said.
State and local leaders unveiled a new crime fighting plan they say will help stop attacks in the New York City transit system. News 4’s Adam Harding reports.
Part of that help could come through the “Cops, Cameras, Care” plan announced by Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul on Saturday, aimed at curbing subway violence — targeted or otherwise — in a bid to assuage public concerns.
The Democrats said they plan to greenlight more than a thousand overtime shifts every day designed specifically to increase the number of uniformed officers on patrol on platforms and trains. Funding for additional 1,200 shifts would account for 10,000 more patrol hours each day. Their weekend announcement also called for two new in-patient psychiatric facilities to aid people experiencing serious mental health issues.
“I don’t know if it’ll solve it, but it could be much more useful. I feel like the police officers don’t have a crystal ball — you can’t put one in every crevice of a station,” Martin said Sunday.
McRae was arrested Monday morning and was expected to face charges of attempted murder, assault, reckless endangerment and harassment. Contact information for his attorney was not immediately known.