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Boy has sneakers yanked after an attack on busy street, as sword-wielding homeless brawl in subway

A teenager had his Nike sneakers yanked off his feet in a daytime attack on a busy Manhattan street, while homeless men brawled with a sword in the latest shocking crimes to grip New York City

The sneaker mugging saw the diabetic 17 year-old being hurled to the ground while walking through Chelsea on May 17. His attackers – two men dressed in dark clothes – then dragged, kicked and punched him, before pulling his Nike Air Force 1’s off his feet. 

A standard pair of the sneakers retails for around $90, and it is unclear if the victim was wearing a limited edition set that may have been more desirable to the muggers. 

Meanwhile, two homeless men brawled over territory with a sword, ninja stars, knife and broom handle at a Harlem subway station in the early hours of Wednesday – a day after figures revealed New York City’s subway system had seen 17 reported assaults in just a fortnight.  

That fight erupted over a territory dispute at the 110th St/Cathedral Parkway Subway station in Harlem, the NYPD said.

A source likened the clash to a ‘homeless royal rumble,’ according to CBSNY, and said it kicked off after insults were hurled. 

The NYPD named the man involved Lafayette Harrell, 26, who was listed as living in the Bronx, and Gilbert Frett, 46, of no fixed address. Both now face assault and criminal possession of a weapon charges.    

Video showed a 17-yeard old boy beaten in Chelsea for his sneakers on May 14. The attack came as violent crimes have increased in the city in recent months. 

Two teenagers were arrested the next day in the violent robbery, police reported

Two teenagers were arrested the next day in the violent robbery, police reported

The violent incidents came as crime rates have increased in the city over the past two years.  

Crime statistics show that violent crimes, including felonies and felony assaults, have risen dramatically in the first few months of 2021. Murders on the subway system have been up 25 percent since 2019 – from three to four and are on track to beat the six murders recorded on the network for the whole of 2020. 

New York City crime statistics show that violent crimes, including felonies and felony assaults, have risen dramatically in the first few months of 2021. Murders on the subway system have been up 25 percent since 2019 and are on track to beat 2020 numbers

New York City crime statistics show that violent crimes, including felonies and felony assaults, have risen dramatically in the first few months of 2021. Murders on the subway system have been up 25 percent since 2019 and are on track to beat 2020 numbers

In the May 14 sneakers mugging, a UPS driver came to the boy’s rescue, walking up to the attackers as they began to flee.

Video showed the driver, Christopher McCall, then kneeling over the boy, who he said was losing consciousness. 

‘He said, “I can’t breathe,” and I said, “Can’t breathe?” And he said, “I’m a diabetic,”‘ McCall told CBS 2 New York

McCall can be seen propping up the teenager’s head with a package before other New Yorkers stepped in to help. 

UPS driver Christopher McCall stepped in to help the boy, walking up to him as his attackers fled. McCall watched over him as another bystander called 911

UPS driver Christopher McCall stepped in to help the boy, walking up to him as his attackers fled. McCall watched over him as another bystander called 911

One handed him a banana in the hopes of raising his blood sugar and another, Lyndsay Patwich, called an ambulance. 

‘I called 911. It was amazing to see New Yorkers come together rather than just walk by … He was very heroic,’ Patwich said of the driver. ‘He jumped in and handled it like it was his own kid.’

Police reported that they had arrested both of the suspects – a 16-year-old boy and a 17-year-old boy the next day – and charged them with robbery and possession of stolen property. 

Neither have been named because of their ages.  

The reports were part of slew of violent incidents in recent weeks, which reflect a larger trend in the city. 

On Wednesday night a woman, 54, was slashed in Union Square station. 

It was the second stabbing in the subway stop in just two days.

The incidents come amid a slew of violence in the city. A commuter was slashed in the neck Tuesday with a pocket knife on the platform of Manhattan's Union Square station, in one of the latest subway attacks in New York City. Pictured: police officers set up tape to stop the public from entering the platform

The incidents come amid a slew of violence in the city. A commuter was slashed in the neck Tuesday with a pocket knife on the platform of Manhattan’s Union Square station, in one of the latest subway attacks in New York City. Pictured: police officers set up tape to stop the public from entering the platform 

Blood was seen on the floor of the station platform and the victim was taken to Bellevue hospital where he is now 'conscious and alert'

Blood was seen on the floor of the station platform and the victim was taken to Bellevue hospital where he is now ‘conscious and alert’

The victim was allegedly attacked by 22-year-old Joshua Nazario who slashed her across her left shoulder, collarbone, and upper chest, while she was waiting at the southbound N, Q, R platform for the train around 10:10 p.m.  

A nearby witness managed to stop the attack, restrain the assailant, and call police to the scene. 

The suspect was taken into custody and is expected to be charged today. Investigators said it was an unprovoked attack.

The victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital where she is in a stable, non-life threatening condition, the New York Post reported. 

It is the second stabbing in the station in two days after a commuter was slashed in the neck with a pocket knife on a platform.   

The 45-year-old man was stabbed following an argument with another man on the L line platform at around 4 p.m. on Tuesday, police said.

The victim was slashed in the neck by the suspect, who was wearing black pants, a neon shirt, a black hat, reports NY Daily News

Blood was seen on the floor of the station platform and the victim was taken to Bellevue hospital where he is now ‘conscious and alert’.

The stabbing comes just days after last Friday’s subway slashing spree which left five people injured. Four teenagers, aged 17 to 19, were arrested.  

Statistics show that there have been 119 felony assaults on New York City’s subway system since January – the highest number for the first three months of the year since 1998.    

Meanwhile, felonies – serious crimes including murders, rapes and assaults – saw a steep 53.7 per cent increase over the last two years.

For every million riders in the first three months of this year there were a reported 1.63 felonies.

Police are searching for a man (pictured) suspected of severing a 48-year-old Asian man's finger in an attack

The suspect (pictured) allegedly told the victim to 'go back to your country' after punching him

Attacks against Asian people are up too. On Tuesday morning an attacker was captured on security footage walking away from the crime scene with a red sweatshirt in hand, donning black sneakers and shirtless. He is suspected of biting of a 48-year-old Asian man’s finger

That was up from 1.06 reported felonies per million riders in 2019 – a 53.7 per cent increase.

The numbers for the early part of 2021 are also upon the 1.48 reported felonies per million riders for the same period in 2020 – an increase of 10.1 per cent in just a year, according to The New York Times

There have also been eight racist attacks on Asian-Americans so-far on the network in 2021, compared to none recorded over the same period the previous year.

On Tuesday morning an Asian man became the latest victim of a hate crime in the city after he was had the tip of his finger bitten off by an attacker who told him to ‘go back to your country.’ 

The 48-year-old Asian man was brutally attacked and punched by a shirtless perpetrator on in the Hells Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan.

The victim is a driver from Long Island who was in the area to pick up a customer, his family told ABC 7 News.  

The assailant allegedly approached the 48-year-old and randomly punched him in the face ‘without provocation,’ NYPD said in a statement. 

He then began raining punches on him before telling him ‘go back to your country.’ 

The man then bit the victim on his left hand, severing his middle finger, before fleeing the scene.   

The attacker, described by police as dark-skinned and in his 40s, was captured on security footage walking away from the crime scene shirtless, with a red sweatshirt in hand and wearing black sneakers.

The victim was transported to a nearby hospital where he was treated for injuries to his face, arm and hand. 

His family says they are sick and tired of the rise in anti-Asian attacks and that these crimes have made them more aware of their surroundings, ABC 7 News reported.  

The incident occurred in the same neighborhood a 31-year-old Asian woman was attacked with a hammer by a woman who ordered her to take her mask off earlier this month. 

The woman suffered a cut to her head and was hospitalized and the attack was investigated by the NYPD as a potential hate crime.

The incident also took place just two blocks from where a 65-year-old Asian woman was kicked and stomped by a 38-year-old man while she was on her way to church in late March.

In the subways the total number of major felonies has dropped overall – with 335 reported this year so far, versus 697 for the same period in 2020, and 559 for the same period in 2019. 

State Governor Andrew Cuomo - who is in charge of the MTA - said he would not let his daughters ride the subway due to safety concerns

State Governor Andrew Cuomo – who is in charge of the MTA – said he would not let his daughters ride the subway due to safety concerns

But safety advocates say the overall number of riders was far greater for the same period last year and the year before, pre-Covid shutdowns, and that the felonies per million riders offer a more useful snapshot of rising crime figures. 

Around 2.1 million people a day now ride the subway system, well down on the 5.4 million average weekday riders, before COVID-19 saw people switch to working from home, and limited socializing opportunities. 

In an effort to combat the rise in violence, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans to deploy 250 additional police officers to the subway, bringing the number up to over 3,000 cops, the largest force the subway system has seen in 25 year, NYT reported.

De Blasio has insisted that the subway is relatively safe. But state Governor Andrew Cuomo – who is in charge of the MTA – said he would not let his daughters ride the subway due to safety concerns.

‘I think we have been underpoliced for quite some time,’ the governor told reporters on Monday.

The mayor and the governor, who frequently clash over big issues, are not the only two city officials in disagreement over subway safety.

Kathryn Wylde, the president and chief executive of the Partnership for New York City, an influential business group, said that subway safety is the biggest obstacle in getting New Yorkers back into the office full-time.

‘I don’t think there’s any question that fear of crime is way up,’ she told the NYT. ‘You can’t reopen offices if people aren’t comfortable taking mass transit.’

While Kathleen O’Reilly, the Police Department’s transit bureau chief, has slammed the ‘continued fearmongering’ surrounding the subway.

‘It’s a disservice to New Yorkers to advance a narrative that crime is soaring in the subways when it’s simply not the case,’ the NYT reported she told transit officials at an agency board meeting in April. 

Many officials say crime rates should drop as vaccinated people return to work and the subways become busier, meaning there is ‘safety in numbers’ from potential attacks.  


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