Eyewitness News Exclusive: How NYPD plans to tackle recent rise in subway crimes

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The NYPD are looking to solve a rash of subway crime with a brand new tool.

Eyewitness News takes an exclusive look at a new squad of investigators who are solely focused on subway crimes.

"Unfortunately, we do see a spike in felony assaults," NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison said.

Subway assaults are rising, even with ridership at historic lows.

Harrison says he's responding with something new he calls the "Transit Crime Squad."

"Our transit squad is going to investigate these crimes with laser focus investigation, and it's going to be strictly geared toward transit incidents," he said.

Roughly 100 detectives have been reassigned to now solely investigate subway crime -- separate from the hundreds of beat cops recently moved underground.

The shift comes after the arrest of a homeless man accused of murdering two other homeless people on the A train.

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However, other incidents remain unsolved, including the attempted robbery Sunday night at the 86th Street N train station in Gravesend, Brooklyn.

Police are looking for the woman who dragged the 60-year-old victim trying to steal her purse at the MetroCard machine.

"Our victim held on for dear life and our perpetrator dragged our victim for several seconds right by the turnstile," Harrison said.

And last Friday evening, another person shoved onto the tracks at Union Square. The victim was able to lift himself up, but the attacker escaped.

Police have identified the suspect as Gerald Mosley who is a repeat offender.

"This transit team is going to be very instrumental in keeping it safe, but once again we need the public's help," Harrison said. "If anybody happens to see anything, you need to let us know."

Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).

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