NEW YORK, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) — Hundreds more police officers were put on the beat in the subway of New York City, as violence rose in the system in recent days amid the unbridled COVID-19 pandemic, with an old woman victimized on Tuesday in another random unprovoked attack.
“This is unacceptable. We will NOT tolerate violence on our subways. … We will make sure public transportation is safe for all New Yorkers,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio while retweeting the report of the incident posted by Eyewitness News.
The 71-year-old woman was evaluated at the scene on the platform of the A/C/E line at the Times Square station, after being punched in the face by the suspect, who jumped onto a train and fled. He is said to be in his 40s wearing a blue jacket, black pants and a black mask.
“It’s just the latest in a string of subway crimes that has prompted the NYPD to add more than 600 officers to the transit system,” reported Eyewitness News.
Police said that they would be riding trains more frequently, and the public transit agency was calling for even more officers in the subway system. They said that the real crisis had to do with the number of mentally ill people roaming free underground.
Back to Saturday afternoon, New York Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Dermot Shea said that a total of 500 more police officers would be deployed immediately to patrol NYC’s transit system both on ground and underground following four stabbing incidents within 24 hours.
The separate incidents happened from Friday to early Saturday on A line subway trains or along its subway stations, leaving two people dead. Three of the incidents appeared to be connected, and all the victims appeared to be homeless.
New York’s subway system, the largest in the country, has been one of the places where homeless people prefer to stay overnight or make a living, seen as a public safety issue for decades. Enditem