MTA board discussing jump in felony assaults, subway cameras not working

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Monday, April 25, 2022
MTA board discussing jump in felony assaults on subway, cameras
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The MTA board is meeting Monday as new data shows a spike in assaults in the subway system. CeFaan Kim has more for ABC7NY.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The MTA board is meeting Monday as new data shows a spike in assaults in the subway system.

The MTA's security camera network is also under question after the subway mass shooting that left 10 people wounded and 19 others hurt.

The agency's inspector general launched an inquiry into the system after it was discovered the cameras at the scene of the attack were not working properly.

A probe will look into why cameras malfunctioned at the at the 36th Street and 25th Street stations when shooting suspect Frank R. James escaped after firing into a crowded subway car.

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MTA leaders maintain the camera failures did not impact the NYPD's ability to catch James.

Earlier, Mayor Eric Adams said he had no complaints about the cameras.

"All my tech guys say, 'Eric, cameras go on and off,'" he said. "That is just a reality of, in the subway system in particular, underground...We have a great camera system. and I'm proud of what we have."

Felony assaults in the subway are up nearly 33% compared to this time last year, and up more than 50% from February to March.

So far this year, the NYPD has seen an increase of more than 70% in stabbings and slashings in the subway.

Officials said there were 180 felony crimes on the subways in March, down two from February, but the number of felony assaults jumped from 41 in February to 62 in March.

So far this year, more than 20 MTA employees have been victims of felony assault, and more than 25 assaults on police officers, many of which began as a quality of life engagement.

Approximately 60% of those incidents resulted in an arrest.

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More than 230 people have been arrested for possession of cutting instruments in the system so far this year

Ridership remains just above half of what it was before the pandemic.

A little over 50 people are allowed to attend the meeting Monday and again on Wednesday, and the full meeting will be posted online.

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