Another day, another random attack in the New York City subway system. If it feels like deja vu, you’re not alone.
The seemingly daily series of unprovoked transit crimes continued Friday in Manhattan, where police say a 43-year-old rider was stabbed in the back at Harlem’s 125th Street station for no apparent reason at all. The straphanger was attacked on the southbound A/B/C/D platform around 4: 30 am by a man in his 20s who ran off afterward.
Cops say the stabbing victim was taken to a hospital and is expected to survive. No other details were immediately available on the circumstances early Friday.
Over on the Upper West Side, police are investigating another transit attack — one on a 78-year-old man who deigned to ask a group to turn down the volume on their speaker, which had been blasting loud music. That incident happened in the middle of the afternoon Thursday on a southbound No. 1 train as it approached 96th Street, police say.
The victim ended up punched in the face multiple times for his ask and was taken to a hospital with bruising and facial lacerations. He is expected to be OK. No arrests have been made.
The subway attacks over the last 24 hours come amid what feels like an endless stretch of such cases. People have been shoved in front of trains. Good Samaritans get stabbed. Riders take punches to the head. Someone even got menaced with a samurai Sword. And a woman just broke her back getting flung down the stairs, again, at random.
Also reported this week: A straphanger shoved to the tracks at East 77th Street on the Upper East Side gets saved by good Samaritans; an 18-year-old getting off a 6 train in the Bronx in the middle of the afternoon takes a punch to the back of the head; an L train rider in Brooklyn gets beaten by a stranger who started an argument out of nowhere.
These are just some of the cases that have New Yorkers on edge in recent weeks, despite assurances from the mayor and governor that subways are safe. And the nine homicides in the transit system so far this year haven’t helped either.
The unprovoked subway shove happened on the Upper East Side Monday, police say.
The latest reports come about a week after Mayor Eric Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul unveiled a new plan to curb subway violence — targeted or otherwise — in a bid to assuage public concerns as the struggling MTA looks to continue its slow-churning pandemic rebound.
The plan calls for more overtime shifts to increase the number of uniformed officers patrolling platforms and trains as well as two new in-patient psychiatric facilities to aid people experiencing serious mental health issues, given analysis that shows a spike in felony arrests for people with those problems. State training on that front will also be provided.
Even though overall transit crime tracks with statistics pre-pandemic, perception is reality — and officials know that.
“We must address both the perception and reality of safety, and the expanded partnership we are announcing today with Governor Hochul will do just that, while building off the successes of our Subway Safety Plan. The bottom line is that riders will see more officers in the system, and so will those thinking of breaking the law,” Adams said recently.
The attacker left another rider injured after clobbering him on the head with a sword in a wooden sheath, according to police. NBC New York’s Myles Miller reports.