MOTT HAVEN, the Bronx (PIX11) —The latest victim of an unprovoked, random attack in New York City’s subway system spoke exclusively to PIX11 News on Monday.
The Bronx resident, who’s in his early 60s, did not want to be identified. He was in the East 149th Street-Grand Concourse station in the Bronx, headed to work on Sunday night when he was attacked.
“I’m mad, very, very mad as to what’s going on with innocent people, including myself,” he said.
The man said someone walked up to him from behind and, for no reason, punched him twice in the head, before shoving him off the platform.
“Bash my head, hit me in the jaw,” the victim said. “I ended up in the middle of the tracks. I shook my head and like ‘what the h–l just happened here?'”
Fortunately, a few witnesses rushed over to help the victim back onto the platform before the next train arrived. They then pointed out the suspect to the police before he could get away.
The 21-year-old suspect’s arrest on assault and other criminal charges came just hours after someone stabbed a 14-year-old victim in a northern Manhattan subway station in an unrelated attack.
And while NYPD data show a 40% increase in felony subway crime compared to a year ago, ridership is up. The subway system recently hit a high of 3.4 million customers a day for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the MTA.
Chris Herrmann is a former NYPD crime analyst supervisor and is now a professor at John Jay College.
“One out of every 500,000 people is experiencing some kind of serious victimization each day,” Herrmann said. “The issue really for subway riders — including myself — who take the subway, it’s the randomness problem of the victimization that’s really stoked a lot of this fear.”
Mayor Eric Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul over the weekend announced increased public safety measures on trains and platforms. However, the Bronx victim who spoke with PIX11 News said he wasn’t sold on the plan.
“This is what we are paying taxes in the city for? We need to get these people out of the system,” he said. “Last night I paid the MTA $2.75 for a man to bash me behind my head? This is why I’m p—-d. You have to understand that. We are not safe in this city anymore.”
PIX11 reached out to Adams about the victim’s concerns. He said he “will not rest” until the city’s done what’s needed to prevent “horrific incidents like this one.”
“As a New Yorker and continuous traveler on the subways, I understand the pain of any victim of an unprovoked attack in the transit system,” Adams said. “This is why our administration has invested in numerous initiatives to address the problem, including far more mental health experts and police officers on the ground identifying those in need of help.”