Four people were attacked on Friday in the span of one hour in separate incidents in the New York City (NYC) subway. The police arrested four suspects ranging from 17 to 19 years old. They were accused of slashing, stabbing, or punching the victims.
Slashing Spree at NYC Subway
According to the NYPD, the spree commenced at 4:25 AM. On a southbound four train at the 14th Street Union Square station, a 44-year-old man was slashed in the face. The man was confined at the Bellevue Hospital and is now in a stable state.
On his way to work, the first victim was sitting on a southbound four train. He was approached by at least two strangers. One of them attempted to stab him many stops later at 23rd Street, stated the police. The victim fought his suspect, only to be attacked again when he was slashed in the face, reported New York Post.
According to Commissioner Dermot Shea and top NYPD officials, the group of men would pair off in groups of three, four, or five during the alleged assaults based on witnesses' reports. These suggest a fifth suspect's possible involvement. Transit officers witnessed the group of men matching surveillance photos acquired early in the morning and disseminated across the department, reported NBC New York.
Authorities confirmed on Friday afternoon that the suspects were in police custody. They have not released the identities of the assailants. A police official at a news conference stated they are confident that they have the right people in custody, reported PIX 11.
The most recent assaults have subway riders dubious about their safety. One of the incidents transpired at Columbus Circle. According to the police, one victim was stabbed in the eye.
Cops said four of the victims were targeted by razor-wielding men riding the southbound No. 4 train in a devastating 12-minute stretch. Police think the suspects possibly paired off at times amid the pre-dawn riot. Initial reports indicate an accomplice of the East Side slasher, urging the man to slice his victims. A third suspect served as a lookout riding the subway between the Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall and Union Square stations.
All of the victims were admitted to local hospitals. The incidents arrive as the subways are slated to return to 24/7 service on Monday.
According to Chief Jason Wilcox, officers armed with surveillance footage and descriptions of the assailants seized them as they exited a northbound No. 1 train at the 79th Street station in Manhattan. The men, whose identities have not been made public, were arrested without incident.
The series of attacks underscored what city transportation officials are touting about the need for more uniformed police officers in train stations. This is despite how Mayor Bill de Blasio has set forth the idea that the spreading of crime will diminish with the increased presence of riders as COVID-19 pandemic restrictions start to lift.
None of the victims had life-threatening wounds. Police remarked the alleged attackers remained on board the train as each victim fleed.