A 21-year-old Brooklyn man was arrested Sunday and charged in connection with a series of stabbings in New York City’s subway system that left two dead and another two injured within a 14-hour period.
The announcement comes after the New York Police Department (NYPD) deployed an additional 500 officers Saturday to patrol above and below ground within the subway system Saturday in response to the seemingly unprovoked attacks all happening along the A train.
The MTA is asking for 1,000 additional officers to protect the trains and stations, NY1 reports.
In a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, MTA Chairman and CEO Pat Foye and interim New York City Transit president Sarah Feinberg said there needs to be a larger police presence in the system and "a much greater focus on mental health care services and interventions."
"The fact is that we all see a disturbing trend above ground and below ground, which as you know began prior to the pandemic, and now has been exacerbated by the acute mental health crisis we are facing," the letter said. "Ridership is down 70% in the subway and 50% on buses, and while overall crime remains on the decline, felony assaults have increased 26.5%. In 2020, murder and rape – while they remain incredibly rare and represent a small fraction of crime systemwide – doubled from three to six and three to seven respectively. Assaults on our workers, from harassment and threats to physical violence, continue to occur far too often. Every single one of these occurrences is one too many."
Foye and Feinberg said they want uniformed officers stationed at every station and riding the system throughout the day and night to keep riders safe.
An NYPD police union also used calls for an increased surge in officers to take a jab at City Council, which is pushing a criminal justice reform package aimed at decreasing NYPD’s footprint, Fox News reports.
"Perhaps Council Speaker Johnson should ask NYers if they want more or less police on the streets & in the subways – especially since the tragic murders on the A Line," Detectives’ Endowment Association tweeted Saturday. "There’s no doubt they want to see more police. It’s time for the politicians to wake up!"