NEW YORK (PIX11) — A man slashed a retired NYPD officer on the subway Wednesday afternoon, police said, as new data shows transit crimes have skyrocketed despite the NYPD’s new subway safety plan.
Police said the 47-year-old victim and his wife were on a No. 2 train in Lower Manhattan just before 4 p.m. when a man approached them and started an argument. As the couple exited the train at the Wall Street station, police said the suspect spit in the direction of the retired officer and then pulled out a knife on the platform.
The suspect slashed the retired officer on the arm, police said. The couple ran away from the suspect, up the stairs from the platform to the mezzanine, and the suspect followed them but then ran off when the victim sought help at a transit booth, according to authorities.
The victim went to the hospital and received multiple stitches to close the slash wound. It’s the latest in a series of violent crimes perpetrated in the city’s subway system.
Early Thursday morning, police said a 29-year-old woman with her two children got into an argument with a 50-year-old man on the A/C platform at 42nd Street. She displayed a knife and then bit the man’s hand, police said. The victim sustained minor cuts from the bite and the woman was taken into custody. Police said her two children were in police custody and ACS was notified.
Within the last week, police said a man was also slashed in the head on the Broadway-Fulton Street platform and a woman was sexually abused in the Prospect Park Q train station. On Saturday afternoon, police said a 22-year-old was riding the A train near 190th Street when a man sitting across from him said he wished he had pepper spray and then spit on the victim, made an anti-gay remark, punched him multiple times, and ripped out some of his hair.
There was a 73% jump in transit crimes in February compared to the same month last year, data shows. Arrests are also up 96%.
Police have also handed out thousands of tickets for smoking, drinking, blocking a seat or jumping a turnstile — part of a new safety plan put in place last month that also has more officers stationed on trains and platforms. Social services teams are working with police to reach out to individuals living in the subway system as well.
NYPD Transit Chief Jason Wilcox said more cameras in the subway system would also help. Meanwhile, Mayor Eric Adams on Tuesday addressed the spike in transit crimes.
“The system has turned into a place — come into the subway system and do whatever you want, and so people are pushing back on me. ‘There goes that mean po-po police officer Eric again.’ Eh, so what. Call me what you want. We’re gonna be safe. I’m like broccoli. You’re gonna hate me now, but you’re gonna love me later,” the mayor said.