Latest subway attacks target women in opposite ends of Manhattan

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, Manhattan (WABC) -- Police are investigating two disturbing subway crimes in opposite ends of Manhattan.

In the first incident, a woman was stabbed in the forearm just after midnight at the 181st Street 1 train station in Washington Heights.

Police say the victim was approached by a man asking for the time, and she ignored him and kept to herself. That's when she was stabbed, and the victim was rushed to New York-Presbyterian Columbia University Irving Medical Center in stable condition.

The suspect, described as a dark-skinned man wearing a camouflage shirt and black pants, fled the scene.

The second incident happened around 10:20 a.m. on a Queens-bound E train as it entered the Canal Street station, where police say a man tried to rape a 21-year-old woman.

The victim said the man cornered her and groped her, putting his hand between the seat and her backside.

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She was able to break free, and the suspect ran.

After Derick Waller's initial report on Eyewitness News This Morning, a viewer recognized the suspect.

"So when I saw the picture, I said, 'Oh my God' to my colleague," Tawana Grant said. "I see this guy every day at the Parsons and Archer stop. That his picture showed up this morning is very alarming because now I work late as well, sometimes coming home at 11 at night. You don't know what's going on. But people are getting pushed now. Now women are getting raped on the train. It is so out of control."

The suspect was later arrested after he was spotted by transit police officers, and 23-year-old Timothy Thomas is now charged with attempted rape, sex abuse, forcible touching, unlawful imprisonment and sexual abuse.

Subway ridership remains lower than pre-COVID rates, as many are still working from home.

The MTA says ridership, in general, is improving, up to about three million riders on Tuesday.

Still, that is just close to just half of the pre-pandemic levels.

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