Security experts share tips on how to stay safe on the subway

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The subways we ride every day, the cars we crowd into every day, can become, if you are caught in the middle, an unexpected place of trouble.

Even worse, a 71-year-old woman was randomly slashed on the D line train.

The suspect then jumped off the train.

"At a minimum you have to react. You have to do something to be able to escape," said Edwin Pantoja, a security expert.

Pantoja with 28 years in law enforcement and Cesar Olavarria with 21 years of experience, are partners in Force Effects Training.

"I want to have at least one arm, one hand up, so if something does come my way I'm ready to block or protect," Pantoja said.

They rode the subways and showed Eyewitness News how you might protect yourself in the event of an attack.

In the close quarters of a train car where escape isn't always possible, they use the phrase: "Escape To Gain Safety": eyes, throat, groin and shins.

"You just have to remember targets. Of course defend yourself and strike those targets of course to escape to gain safety, to get out of the situation," Olavarria said.

If escape out a side door or at the end of the car is possible, they suggest you take it.

But if you're in between stations, find the emergency call button.

"To alert one of the crew members who will then contact the police," Pantoja said.

Out on the platform where there are more opportunities for you to run and escape, there are other protections in the event of say an active shooter.

"You want to use these to your advantage to be able to go from one to the other so you can make it to those stairs and get out of there as soon as possible," Pantoja said.

Most importantly, they suggest you always be aware of your surroundings.

Being able to spot a potential problem, they add, could save your life.

Copyright © 2020 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.