After a month of historic highs for New York City subway attacks, the trend appears to be on the decline following additional NYPD patrols in the metro.
Metro Transit police recorded 36 assaults in the first half of May, and 25 in the second half. Of those included two men who were shot in a stick-up gone wrong, and another individual was seriously injured with a hammer.
May’s crime statistics included a total of 51 robberies, 52 grand larcenies and 65 felony assaults — including an early morning “spree” in which three teens with alleged gang affiliations went on a rampage and attacked five random straphangers, blinding one victim’s right eye.
According to MTA documents, this year has been one of the most violent in the city’s history in terms of felony assaults.
The New York Post reported that in the first five months of 2021, there were 223 felony assaults, which is the highest number since 1997.
In addition, felony assaults nearly doubled from April to May, from 37 to 65.
On May 17, De Blasio finally acquiesced to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state-run MTA to add 250 more officers to the underground patrols, even though transit officials complained that it wasn’t enough.
An NYPD officer said of the situation: “It’s crazy. Those subways are a mess. You have no idea how crazy it is. 250? You need at least 1,000 cops there, and if they see something they don’t want to do anything ’cause they feel they are not being backed.”
There has been a promising turnaround after the additional patrols, with the subway seeing only 14 felony assaults recorded in the first weeks of June.
An internal MTA survey conducted from May 15 to May 24 also found that felony assaults are finally trending down – along with sex crimes, robberies and grand larcenies – following the increased police presence.
MTA Interim Transit President Sarah Feinberg called De Blasio “negligent” after the May 14 attacks, which she said should be a “wake-up call.” The governor initially dismissed the MTA’s call for more subway police as “fearmongering.”