NEW YORK — Regardless of what official crime stats may show, public perception of safety in the city’s subway system often gets more attention. The latest headline — a fatal stabbing Sunday on a northbound No. 2 train in Manhattan — is renewing calls for answers.
Community advocates gathered at the scene Monday night for a news conference at Penn Station’s subway hub.
“What is happening in our subway system?” asked Passengers United President Charlton D’Souza. “We need answers. A man died. This is very, very devastating.”
The victim was identified by friends as Akeem Loney, 32, who police said was sleeping on the No. 2 train Sunday, just after midnight. The unidentified suspect — caught on surveillance cameras — stabbed Loney in the neck.
Police believe this was a random, unprovoked attack.
Loney, who was homeless, was pronounced dead at an area hospital.
The young man had a passion for soccer, and played in a street soccer league managed by Reed Fox.
“It’s just unthinkable that this can happen,” said Fox. “He was a great teammate. He was super reliable and trustworthy.”
Shortly before Monday’s news conference, police were responding to the scene of another attack on another platform in this same subway station, attending to a bleeding victim sitting on a bench.
The circumstances were unknown.
Community activist Talia Wufka said she supports an increased number of social workers, working hand-in-hand with more patrolling police officers.
The suspect in Loney’s murder remains at large.
Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).