NEW YORK CITY, NY – A 21-year-old mother says that when a female panhandler launched an attack on her 2-year-old child, with the attacker punching her child in the face, not a single bystander on the subway intervened to help the mother and her child.
— New York Post (@nypost) February 23, 2021
The incident occurred on February 20th while the 21-year-old mother was with her 2-year-old on the northbound C train at Frederick Douglass Boulevard and West 116th Street in Manhattan.
While on the train, the woman (who wanted to keep her identity confidential) stated that her young boy was sleeping on her lap while a panhandler aboard the train was asking riders for money.
At one point, said panhandler had gotten too close for comfort, and the 21-year-old mother had asked the female panhandler to respect social distancing guidelines.
Looking back at the interaction, the mother recalled what she’d said to the panhandler:
“Ma’am, can you please stay 6 feet away? Please back off.”
This sort of a request is rather common in the era of COVID-19, but the 21-year-old mother stated that this request sent the female panhandler into a fit of rage.
The female panhandler allegedly stepped on the 21-year-old’s foot, and then started to punch her toddler in the face several times.
All the while, this mother was pleading for bystanders to help her – and not a single one came to her aid:
“And I was just asking people like, ‘yo can y’all please get my baby, please get him’, like, and nobody tried to stop, like, she was standing there!”
When speaking with the New York Post about the incident, the mother claimed that “every seat” was filled on the train at the time:
“There was a lot of people. Every seat was occupied.”
Once the train had reached the station, the attacker reportedly fled the scene. Police have yet to identify the female panhandler allegedly behind the assault on the toddler.
The mother of the child had taken her boy to Mount Sinai-Saint Luke’s Hospital after the attack, where the doctor had informed the mother that her son could suffer from seizures due to the injuries sustained from the attack.
If there was a greater police presence aboard the subway trains, the mother feels as though these sorts of incidents would occur less frequently:
“You see everything on the train station. It’s so mind-blowing, y’all understand. Cause, it’s like, where is the police?”
Earlier in February, there were reports that the NYPD was working to have an additional 644 police officers working within the subway systems to quell the violent crime that has been ongoing in recent months.
The subway system is getting extra security. The #NYPD announced Tuesday it will be adding even more cops to the transit beat then previously announced — 144 to be exact. @JohnBDias reports. https://t.co/BpXR3hHVjE
— CBS New York (@CBSNewYork) February 16, 2021
Still, MTA Chairman Pat Foye thinks that even 644 officers working the subway systems is too small of a number, and would prefer to see an additional 1,000 officers working the subway stations:
“We feel strongly about the request to provide a safe and secure environment.”
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We at Law Enforcement Today have done extensive coverage with respect to the uptick in violence ongoing within the subway systems in New York City.
Earlier in February, we shared a report on some of these attacks taking place at the subways.
NEW YORK CITY, NY – With there being a massive decline in subway ridership due to the pandemic, that hasn’t stopped the likes of people being the victims of attacks on the New York City subways.
Some of the more recent incidents happened to be among the fatal category.
2 dead after string of NYC subway train stabbings; NYPD to add 500 officershttps://t.co/b5t21I2kIu
— Bill Ritter (@billritter7) February 14, 2021
On February 12th at approximately 11:30 p.m., police officials say that the body of an unidentified male was found having suffered numerous stab wounds to his neck and torso on an A train at Mott Avenue. The victim was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Then, just two hours later, police officials found the body of 44-year-old Claudine Roberts on an A train at West 207th Street and Broadway – once again, with the victim having suffered several stab wounds all over her body. She too was pronounced dead at the scene when EMTs arrived.
There had been two other reported stabbings that were non-fatal in the hours before the fatal stabbing from the evening of February 12th.
Those victims were only identified as a 43-year-old and 67-year-old, with officials alleging those attacks occurred at an A line subway station on West 181st Street.
Police were said to have taken 21-year-old Rigoberto Lopez into custody, with the suspect being charged with various counts of murder and attempted murder for all four attacks mentioned.
Deputy Chief Brian McGee stated that the attacks all appeared to be unprovoked, while also mentioning that the suspect has a history with mental illness.
Rise in NYC subway shove incidents have a common thread…
None of the victims pushed to the tracks were killed, but the incidents have a common thread: The attackers were all strangers with mental health issues, according to police.https://t.co/g40NO2Rj8Z
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) February 15, 2021
In other non-fatal attacks on the subways, there was the incident involving 26-year-old Rafael Wilson allegedly being shoved so hard while waiting for an A train at the Fulton Center that he came mere feet away from the third rail on the subway tracks.
For those unaware, the “third rail” on the subway tracks carries a direct current of 600 volts – a voltage amount that is considered generally lethal.
Authorities reportedly arrested 38-year-old Calvin Wilson for the alleged shoving attack that occurred on February 2nd – with police noting that the suspect in that case also carries a history involving mental illness and previous alleged attacks.
A Brooklyn man thrown onto the subway tracks by a mentally-ill man said he did nothing to provoke the attack.
“What if this was my mom?"
Rafael Wilson fears the pandemic has led to a rise in subway crime … "We’re just reverting back to … the 1980s."https://t.co/wzpYtuFQy8
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) February 4, 2021
The attack lodged against Rafael Wilson is just one of six incidents involving assailants shoving victims onto the subway tracks since December 24th of 2020.
While the New York City subways seem to be playing host to numerous attacks, ridership in reportedly down by over 70% due to the ongoing pandemic.
But a concerning theme coinciding with the attacks and murders ongoing within the subway system is how mental illness seems to be cropping up when detailing information about the alleged assailants.
Dr. Marc Tarle, a forensic psychiatrist who has analyzed serial transit offenders, believes that mental illness playing a role in subway attacks is, “the exception, not the rule”:
“Usually someone like that is in a state of psychosis or schizophrenia who isn’t doing well, isn’t on their medicine or doesn’t have access to their medicine.”
“But the roof isn’t falling down. The mental health system has held up surprisingly well in the pandemic. These incidents are the exception, not the rule.”
Yet, with there being such a decrease in riders in the subway, one would figure that subway attacks would be less prevalent.
However, NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan thinks that the lower presence of riders on the subways might be one of the ingredients fueling these sorts of attacks:
“Less people on the platform, less people around, it may encourage someone to take action.”
“A crowded subway station, a person may not want to pick somebody out, but when he sees someone standing by himself, they might want to do that.”
Apparently, a lack of nearby people was a factor in the recent incident that occurred earlier in February. On February 9th at approximately 7:50 a.m., 54-year-old Rosa Elizabeth Galeas-Forencio was shoved onto the subway tracks by a woman in an alleged unprovoked attack near E. 174th Street.
A 55-year-old woman was shoved onto the tracks in a Bronx subway station by a deranged stranger.
Good Samaritans helped the victim back onto the platform.
Police describe the suspect, who remains on the loose, as white and in her 30s.https://t.co/lzPDp9SWRp
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) February 9, 2021
Galeas-Forencio described the attack committed by the currently at-large suspect:
“She didn’t say anything to me. She just did it. When I fell, she came over to see where I was down there. She looked at me. And then she left.”
The victim was only among her attacker and one other man, who helped pull the woman up from the tracks after the suspect had fled the area:
“He got me out just in time. If that man wasn’t there, I wouldn’t exist anymore. It was just the three of us there.”
At approximately 2:00 a.m. on Christmas Eve, 70-year-old subway station agent Kumar Narinder was reportedly shoved onto the subway tracks at Brooklyn’s Nassau Ave. station on the G line allegedly by a man later identified as 27-year-old Jhonathan Martinez.
In that incident, the victim reportedly suffered a fractured spine and various injuries to the head. Martinez in that case was arrested and subsequently charged with first-degree attempted assault, reckless endangerment, criminal trespass, and harassment.
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