The man accused of slashing the neck of a subway rider aboard an L train in Brooklyn was arrested and charged with murder, police said — and it isn’t the suspect’s first run-in with the law for a violent offense.
Alvin Charles faces a murder charge for the deadly Sept. 30 incident at the Atlantic Avenue station in East New York around 9 pm The 43-year-old man, who police said was homeless, didn’t say anything to reporters as he was taken away in handcuffs Wednesday night by officers. After being put in the police vehicle, he blew a kiss to the cameras.
Police said that Charles and Tommy Bailey were on the train when they got into some sort of dispute. That’s when Charles took out a knife and slashed Bailey, a 43-year-old father of three, once in the neck.
Bailey, who worked as a steamfitter for the Local 638, was rushed to Brookdale Hospital where he was pronounced dead. What led to the dispute and the deadly slashing was not immediately clear, but a longtime friend of Bailey’s said he was the kind of guy to stick up for others.
“He was on his way home after work and it seems like he ran into the wrong person on the train, and he was murdered,” said friend Tom Kelly, who worked alongside Bailey for several years. The two spoke on the phone just minutes before the deadly encounter.
“The last thing he told me at 8:41 [p.m.] was he was on the train, and he was murdered at 8:45, they say — not even five minutes later,” Kelly told NBC New York, saying he didn’t indicate anything was wrong. “We can’t believe this has It happened, it’s such a tragedy, and it’s such nonsense. He has three children he left behind, and they’re young and heartbroken.”
What started the dispute between the two men and preceded the fatal attack remains a mystery. News 4’s Adam Harding reports.
Friends of Bailey have been left devastated by the loss, and there is plenty of outrage as well. That’s because he said the suspect, Charles, has a violent history
According to police sources, records show that Charles had been arrested in the summer of 2021 and faced an attempted murder charge. He was also charged with menacing, attempted assault, menacing and weapon possession. He was due back in court later in October.
The circumstances of that case, and why he was out on the streets, remain unclear — but left friends and family angry and confused.
“I’m still trying to get through this, it’s not even making any sense,” Omari Barnett said. “It’s just a dangerous world we’re living in.”
“We have already identified dozens of cameras that the NYPD believes may assist in the investigation of this senseless crime and we will continue to assist investigators with video and in any other way possible to ensure the perpetrator is caught,” said MTA Communications Director Tim Minton .
While the number of murders in the subway system is about the same as last year, the number of major felonies in transit is up nearly 49% compared to 2021.
An investigation is ongoing.