The New York Police Department is planning to deploy more than a 100 officers to the city’s transit system following a string of violent subway pushes and attacks.
The 120 officers that are returning underground had been pulled from the transit beat to help cover protest during the summer, the NYPD explained to PIX 11.
It was not specified when exactly they would be expected to return.
The news of the increase comes as officers arrested a homeless man suspected of shoving a 29-year-old victim in at the Atlantic Avenue/BArclays Center station in Brooklyn.
News of the increase comes as officers arrested Michael Medlock, 33, for pushing a man in Brooklyn on Saturday morning
The 120 officers that are returning underground had been pulled from the transit beat to help cover protest during the summer
Michael Medlock, 33, was detained outside of his mother’s home in East New York at around 12.30am, the New York Post reports. He was charged with two counts of attempted assault, one count of reckless endangerment and one count of menacing.
There have been 20 similar attacks so far this year, according to police, which is up from 17 overall in 2019.
Police shared that crime in the transit system has fallen 27 per cent this year. Ridership is down 60 per cent as a result of the pandemic.
The subway passenger in the latest attack was on the train with his girlfriend at around 11.30am on Saturday when a man who had been sleeping woke up and started shouting at them.
The couple got off the train at Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, but the man followed them.
He then shoved the man onto the tracks, leaving him to scramble to safety. The victim was unharmed and later enjoyed a hotdog from Nathan’s to calm himself down.
Police are searching for the black man (left) who attacked the man in a blue jacket on Saturday
The man, in a bright blue jacket, is seen being shoved onto the tracks at Atlantic Avenue
The blue jacketed-man managed to climb off the tracks and was unharmed in the attack
His attack came two days after 40-year-old Liliana Sagbaicela narrowly survived being pushed onto the tracks in Manhattan by a mentally-ill homeless person. She was shoved just as the train was coming into Union Station, and miraculously fell into a gap between the wheels and the walls of the platform.
Sagbaicela, a mother of two, miraculously escaped without any broken bones following Thursday’s attack, but needed stitches in her head.
In surveillance footage from the station a homeless man, Aditya Vemulapati, 24, can be seen pacing up and down the platform, singling out Sagbaicela and then violently pushing her onto the tracks with both hands as the train pulled into the station.
Sagbaicela falls beneath the train, to the horror of others on the platform, and manages to land in the small space between its rolling wheels.
‘I’ll be honest, I still can’t believe it,’ she told the New York Daily News on Friday.
‘For me everything was so fast, so strong that I lost all senses. So I can’t remember much of what happened.’
She said she only realized what had taken place when she came round at Bellevue Hospital, where she was treated for a head injury.
Liliana Sagbaciela, with husband Rene Lleanos, said that she feels lucky to be alive
‘In a way it’s better that I can’t remember because I’ll be traumatized,’ she told the paper.
‘I have a blurry image, but I don’t know if it’s true, that I opened my eyes and I saw that the train was coming. But I don’t know if that happened, if I really could see it.
‘I never felt the fall or anything,’ she said. ‘I never saw him. He was always behind me.’
Her attacker was charged with attempted murder and reckless endangerment, and was ordered held without bail at his arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court on Friday. His next court date is December 4.
Sagbaicela’s attack was the second of its kind in as many days, and the fourth since October 19.
Sagbaciela is pictured standing beside the pillar, moments before she was pushed
Her attack was seized upon by Patrick Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association, who accused the city officials of stopping police from doing their jobs and arresting dangerous people.
‘The politicians have made it abundantly clear that they don’t want cops enforcing transit system rules, connecting the homeless with services, engaging with seriously mentally ill people or doing any of the things necessary to prevent these terrifying random attacks,’ he told the New York Post.
‘That is their choice to make, but who is replacing us in those roles? Right now, nobody.’
Lynch added: ‘While our elected leaders are closing their eyes and wishing the problem away, we recommend that all New Yorkers keep both eyes wide open while in our transit system.’
Sarah Feinberg, president of NYC Transit, urged Bill de Blasio, the mayor, to take action.
‘We have a crisis in this city and it absolutely has to be addressed,’ she said.
‘It’s got to be addressed, and I’m desperate for this mayor or the next mayor to take it on because we’ve got a long way to go.’
Subway ridership this year has fallen 70 per cent due to the coronavirus pandemic, but five murders were committed in the system through September – up from two during the same period last year.
Her attack was seized upon by Patrick Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association