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Subway rider kicked to tracks – NBC New York

by Staff

A 64-year-old man checking his phone was kicked onto the subway tracks at New York’s Penn Station, the latest in a series of violent incidents plaguing the transit system in recent weeks, authorities say.

Fortunately, no one was badly hurt in the kick-to-the-back that landed the man on the northbound A/C/E tracks shortly before 5 p.m. Sunday. The man had been looking at his phone on the platform when he was kicked from behind and fell into the roadbed, authorities say.

He was helped off the tracks and taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries including pain to his back, right leg, shoulder, and arm. Medical staff told investigators that the victim would undergo a CAT scan and X-rays to assess the extent of his injuries.

No arrests have been made. Investigators say the suspect was wearing all black and had on sunglasses.

Last week, a subway conductor was knifed in the neck in Brooklyn, a 27-year-old woman was slashed in the hand in Manhattan and a 61-year-old man was stabbed in the stomach in the Bronx in three unrelated incidences of transit violence within 36 hours. A recent trio of homicides also made headlines.

Another MTA worker has been violently attacked while on the job. The A train conductor stuck his head out of the conductor’s window when the train stopped at Rockaway Avenue in Brooklyn when someone rushed up and slashed his neck. The suspect is still on the run. NBC New York’s Myles Miller reports.

MTA officials have condemned the string of violence. The Transport Workers Union blasted the MTA after the attack on the conductor, saying the incident was “a horrific example of the epic, decades-long failure by the MTA and Chairman Janno Lieber to protect transit workers.”

“We stand ready to assist Local 100 as they confront this plague of violence – and transit executives who are either inept or indifferent to the harm inflicted on their own employees day and night,” said TWU President John Samuelsen. “On workplace safety, the MTA has been an abysmal failure. Assaults against transit workers in the subway increased nearly 60% last year. Unlike Lieber, transit workers don’t travel with a dedicated and armed MTA Police squad.”

The union pleaded with the MTA to deploy members of the agency’s 1,000-member police force — officers usually seen on the Long Island Rail Road and the Metro-North Railroad — to start patrolling the city’s subway lines.

Recent NYPD data paints a concerning picture, with 2023 seeing the highest number of subway assaults since at least 1996. Over that year, there were 570 assaults, marking a slight increase from the previous year and averaging about 1.5 incidents daily.

But NYPD Chief of Transit Michael Kemper says progress is being made. An infusion of 1,000 more officers into the subway system — done in a direct response to a January crime spike — led to a 17% reduction in crime in February, Kemper said.

Though for the year, subway crime is still up 13% compared to 2023, with assaults on the transit system up 11%. NYPD transit police are investigating 86 assaults, up from last year’s 77. And three homicides in the first two months of the year mark a troubling start, especially when compared to 2023 at this time, when there were none.

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