NYPD will soon start bag checks amid rising subway crime after violent weekend

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Wednesday, March 6, 2024
NYC considering measures to curb subway crime
Lucy Yang has the story.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Mayor Eric Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul are expected to announce new resources to address increasing subway crime -- including more officers underground and bag checks.

This comes after a recent series of violent attacks on the city's transit system, including high-profile shootings, stabbings, beatings and robberies.

Officials last week released stats showing violent crimes underground is up 13% this year compared with last year.

On Tuesday, City Hall tried to dispute the numbers saying crime actually dropped last month.

"Overall crime is down," said Mayor Adams. "Double digit decreases in subway crime in February 2024."

Mayor Adams credits stepped up police deployments and hundreds more officers underground. They are expected to be joined by the MTA police and state troopers.

The mayor announced that in response to the recent series of attacks, officers will intensify random bag checks in the subway and revealed that two high-tech weapons detection systems are in development.

"They are doing an excellent job in identifying razors, knives, scissors other sharp objects," Adams said. "To me, that's a low bar. I want to be able to identify a gun. We have seen some promising technology that I think in the next, you know, year we're going to really see something that people felt was not possible."

Meanwhile, after the violent attacks over the weekend, Hochul is expected to announce an increase in law enforcement in the subway system.

Police are hard at work to find the suspect behind the unprovoked attack on a 64-year-old man at Penn Station.

Officials say the victim fell onto the tracks on Sunday after someone came up behind him and kicked him in the back around 5 p.m. at the A/C/E line.

The man, a postal worker, was then helped back onto the platform. Authorities say he suffered injuries to his back and knee and was taken to the hospital in stable condition.

The suspect fled the scene. Police released surveillance footage of the man they say is wanted in connection to the attack on the 64-year-old man.

On Monday, Hochul said she had a meeting with Adams and the NYPD's Chief of Transit and plans to announce more resources to combat transit crime.

"We will make people feel safe with more police on the subway station. Yes, people want to see that. They've been asking for it, we are going to give that," Hochul said. "But there is also a lot involved in people dealing with mental health crises on the subway. When you talk to the chief of the transit police, he would tell you that 80% of the problems or more stem from that situation."

The governor says cameras on every car by the end of the year, and cameras in every conductor booth are some of the resources being considered to make the subway system safer.

Despite the measures being taken to curb subway crime, most riders say they don't feel safe.

Malik Britton says he plants himself where he can't be thrown into an oncoming train as a protective tactic during his daily commute.

"Away from the tracks and nobody could push me or be behind me," he tells Eyewitness News. I'm pretty much against the beams."

For Abhijeet Singh, another fellow subway commuter, it's a matter of keeping a watchful eye.

"I have to watch my back," said Singh.

RELATED: Eyewitness News Neighborhood Crime Tracker

Gov. Hochul is expected to announce an increase in state resources on Wednesday.

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An aid and five children were also on the bus.


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