PROSPECT HEIGHTS, Brooklyn (WABC) -- A woman was choked as she sat on a bench inside of a subway station on Sunday in Brooklyn in what police say was an unprovoked attack.
The 25-year-old victim was on the platform of the southbound 2 train inside of the Grand Army Plaza subway station in Prospect Heights around 12:45 a.m. when she was approached from behind by a group of male suspects.
Police say the group surrounded her, attempted to strangle her, and dragged her by the neck off the bench before fleeing.
The woman, a Brooklyn College student, was not seriously injured.
Police released images of the suspects which show two of them carrying longboard skateboards.
Detectives say the older suspect was heard instructing the younger attackers, leading investigators to speculate that the attack may have been a gang initiation rite.
The attack comes just weeks after the NYPD and MTA police deployed thousands of additional officers into the transit system.
While overall transit crime is up 32% so far this year over last year, it fell by 13% in the month of November and 26% in the past 28 days compared to the same period in 2021.
In fact, over the past 28 days, transit crime is down in every major category.
"This was a terrifying incident that no rider should have to go through," said MTA communications director Tim Minton. "It's exactly why the governor and mayor have surged hundreds of police officers into the transit system and more cameras are being added to the 11,500 already in place."
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