Police are searching for a suspect who shoved a man onto the subway tracks in Brooklyn over the weekend, days after two other commuters were shoved onto the tracks in separate incidents.
This attack happened around 11:30 a.m. on Sunday when the unidentified suspect began to yell at a 29-year-old man and his girlfriend aboard a northbound 4 train en route to the Atlantic Avenue station. When the train arrived at that station, the couple got off, and was followed by the suspect, who then shoved the man off of the platform and onto the southbound trackbed.
The suspect fled the scene. The victim was able to get himself up onto the platform before any trains came.
The NYPD released security camera video of the incident below.
The NY Post reports that the suspect had been sleeping on the train, then "suddenly woke up and started screaming" at the victim.
Last Thursday, a 40-year-old woman was shoved onto the subway tracks at Union Square, and miraculously survived the attack after ducking under the path of an oncoming 5 train. The day before that, a man was pushed onto the trackbed at 42nd Street-Bryant Park after a verbal dispute with an individual who was begging for money. The victim in that incident survived but suffered minor injuries to his knee and hands; the suspect, 23-year-old Justin Pena, has been charged with attempted murder.
With this weekend's shoving, there have now been 19 reported subway shoving incidents in the last 11 months, compared to 16 total incidents during the same time period last year. The increase comes despite a 70% decline in ridership since the pandemic began.
Asked about the rise in subway pushing incidents recently, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday, "I'm real concerned, and we got to make sure New Yorkers have confidence they can use the subway and know help will be there to them. The NYPD is going to be increasing their presence in the subways, that will be very visible. We continue to expand our mental health efforts. The thing we've got to do is find people and get to them help before something like this happens, and we need medical intervention which our city agencies will do."
The mayor added that he's spoken to Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, but didn't offer any more details about the increase in police officers in the subways. "New Yorkers are strong, resilient folks, we know that we can overcome everything," he said. "So I understand the fear, but people should know we're going to get that presence out there to keep people safe."