Riders react to transit assaults after suspect arrested for attempted murder

Transit

Transit ridership has been increasing this month to nearly 60% of pre-pandemic ridership on buses and subways. 

Transit officials also track incidents of crimes and assaults, and two are getting specific attention this week. 

On Tuesday, police arrested the person wanted in connection with an incident on a Times Square platform on Monday. The victim was recovering Tuesday, with bruises to the face, and the suspect was charged with attempted murder. 

Charlton D’Souza wants fellow riders to pay attention always. He leads a group called Passengers United. 

He also has been documenting incidents. He recorded a woman throwing liquid at him along the Q32 over the weekend. 

“The passengers are frustrated, especially in the outer boroughs,” he said. 

While overall subway crime is down, the number of felony assaults is up. There were 313 felony assaults from January through the end of August. That’s a 33% increase from last year. 

The NYPD reports statistics to the MTA board every month. 

PIX11 News asked NYPD for some specifics on the number of subway pushes. That was reported 20 times as of Oct. 3 of this year. Compare that to 17 pushes at this time in October 2020.

Ridership was down in 2020. 

The MTA called the recent unprovoked attack at Times Square “senseless and absurd.”

Acting MTA Chief Communications Officer Tim Minton wrote in a statement that the city needs to provide additional mental health services. 

“The NYPD’s rapid identification and arrest in this case makes riders safer,” he wrote. 

The mayor was asked Tuesday about sending more personnel. 

“We had one of the highest levels of NYPD deployment. I feel confidant about the impact. It’s much improved and we definitely welcome MTA police,” he said. 

The mayor said he did not support state police or the National Guard being added to patrols within the transit system. 

Mental health teams have been deployed during certain operations. 

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