NEW YORK (NewsNation Now)— A series of Manhattan subway slashings injured three men and another was punched, all within 12 minutes on the same train early Friday, police said.
Officers believe two suspects were involved in all of the apparently random attacks on a No. 4 train as it made local stops downtown. The four victims were taken to hospitals in stable condition.
The NYPD said the first attack happened just before 4:30 a.m. when a 44-year-old man was slashed in the mouth at the Union Square station reported NewsNation affiliate WPIX. The two suspects — one slashed the victim’s face while the other encouraged it — fled the subway car.
About five minutes later on the same train, a 40-year-old man was slashed in the face and a 41-year-old man who may have tried to intervene was punched as the train was near the Astor Place station, police said.
About seven minutes later, near the Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall station, a 44-year-old man was slashed in the back of the his head, authorities said.
“These were five very serious armed robbery and slashing incidents at stations on the same line,” NYC Transit Interim President Sarah Feinberg said in a statement. “All seemingly could have been prevented by a uniformed presence on each of these platforms,” she added.
The city says it’s assigning 500 more police officers to tackle subway crime, but the transit officials have been urging Mayor Bill de Blasio to do more. Feinberg accused the Democratic mayor Friday of “negligence on the issue.”
“Enough is enough. The mayor is risking New York’s recovery every time he lets these incidents go by without meaningful action,” Feinberg, whose agency doesn’t report to de Blasio, said in a statement.
Feinberg and MTA CEO and Chairman Pat Foye have been calling on the NYPD to send another 600 officers into the subway system amid growing concerns about crime on the city’s subways as ridership picks up from pandemic lows, though it’s still averaging about 40% below normal.
No arrests had been made Friday morning as police said the investigation was ongoing.
De Blasio spokesman Bill Neidhardt accused the MTA of finger-pointing and urged it to “get with the program.”
“We’re going to keep putting massive resources into this fight to keep our subways safe,” he said in a statement.