NYC Subway Assaults Soar to Highest Level in 11 Months
By: Hellen Zaboulani
New York City’s transit system continues to be plagued by violent attacks.
As reported by the NY Post, felony assaults on NYC subways jumped over than 50 percent between February and March — reaching the highest level since the NYPD started upping police patrols on subways 11 months ago. The new data, released by the NYPD on Friday, shows there were 62 felony assaults in March, up from 41 in February. The assaults included shootings, stabbings, slashings, hammer attacks and sexual assaults. Despite the disturbing increase in assaults, overall crime in subways was flat last month compared to the earlier month. Overall there were 180 felony crimes reported on the subways in March, down two compared to February, as per NYPD data.
Last May, the MTA and former Mayor Bill de Blasio undertook to increase the number of police patrolling NYC’s underground transit, following several tragic violent crimes. In May 2021 there were 65 felony assaults recorded — including the infamous string of slashings on May 14, by one assailant in a 35-minute span. De Blasio had subsequently agreed to add 125 more cops during peak morning and evening hours. After police presence was increased, assaults declined the following month, and had remained stable–till now. Mayor Eric Adams has continued with the policy for extra cops, but notwithstanding crime has spiked. On April 13, an assailant opened fire in a busy subway car in Brooklyn, resulting in 10 people with gunshot wounds and another 19 injured.
Subway ridership is still just 55 percent what it was in 2019. Crime has remained above pre-pandemic levels, when adjusted for ridership, the NYPD reported. The ailing MTA has repeatedly said that it will not be successful in restoring confidence and ridership as long as crime runs rampant.
“We’re trying to live our lives as well as we can, you know, and it’s just unfortunate that we have to face all these adversities, along with just all the struggles in life,” said a 29-year old victim of a hammer attack in March at 14th Street-7th Ave. “It’s hard because if we have to be afraid or just be constantly aware, be afraid of anyone who is passing by you and just, you know, who knows what they have, it’s not really a way to live.”