Community, leaders debate how to stop rise in subway crime

Local News

HARLEM, Manhattan — Two people were hospitalized overnight after being slashed with the same knife one of them allegedly pulled on a man during an altercation on a Manhattan subway, according to police sources.

The NYPD said the incident happened around before 2 a.m. Friday on a northbound No. 2 train at the 96th Street and Broadway subway station.

It’s an incident community leaders in Harlem have seen all too much lately and has some straphangers planning for their own safety. However, they believe it’s not up to New Yorkers to protect themselves.

The real issue, community advocate Alpheaus Marcus claims, is lack of resources for the homeless.

“The city itself has ignored the homeless population,” Marcus said. “The shelters kick them out in the morning and if they are not back by a certain time, they’d better go somewhere else. The cycle starts over and over again.” 

A cycle this community says can’t continue. On 125th Street and Lexington Avenue in Harlem, the situation is urgent — from people sleeping in the subway to being moved onto the street, without a place to go.

While the homeless population is not the sole cause of the rise in subway crime — now up 93% with 168 violent incidents compared to the same time last year — to help, the city has deployed thousands of officers underground.

Mayor Bill de Blasio acknowledged Friday that it was probably not the best plan to put the homeless in temporary hotels during the pandemic.

“Folks were never meant to be put in temporary hotels, it was an emergency measure at the height of COVID,” the mayor said on the radio Friday. “We are going back to the work of getting people onto a better life.”

De Blasio also saying the city is working hard to get a handle on crime, including gun violence. Shootings have almost doubled compared to 2020. It’s a harsh reality weighing heavy on this same community.

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