The New York City police department will be bolstering enforcement in subways citywide amid a troubling pattern of instances in which straphangers have been pushed onto the tracks as the Big Apple also works to combat a spurt of shootings and other violence, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday.
The Democratic mayor was asked how he plans to address subway concerns after a man was shoved onto the tracks on Sunday, the third victim of such a crime in only days, according to officials and reports.
“I’m real concerned, and we gotta make sure that New Yorkers have confidence that they can go and use the subway and know help will be there for them,” de Blasio said during a Monday morning press conference. “So, NYPD is going to be increasing its presence in the subways. That will be very visible.”
Curtis Sliwa, who founded the “Guardian Angels” neighborhood watch groups, said he and the “Angels” are also doubling down on their enforcement efforts in NYC subways.
De Blasio could not immediately provide more specifics about how many officers would be present in stations, or which additional law enforcement agencies, if any, would be involved. He said city agencies are also working to expand their “mental health efforts.”
“New Yorkers are strong, resilient folks,” he continued. “We know that we can overcome anything. So, I understand the fear, but people should know that we’re going to get that presence out there to get people safe.”
Shortly before 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, a 29-year-old man was pushed onto the tracks at the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center station in Brooklyn. Police are now offering up to $2,500 for information that leads them to the suspect.
The victim was not seriously injured and was able to climb back onto the train platform, according to the New York Post.
Earlier in the week, two people were pushed onto the tracks in separate incidents reported in as many days, the outlet reported.
On Wednesday, a 36-year-old was shoved onto train tracks in Manhattan’s Bryant Park subway station, according to the Post. The next day, a 40-year-old woman from Brooklyn was pushed onto the 14th Street-Union Square station tracks just moments before a train rolled in, video shows. Both victims survived.
NYPD statistics also point to another troubling trend in the number of recent shootings. Eighteen shootings were reported from Friday through Sunday alone, when 25 people were shot, an NYPD spokesperson said in an email to Fox News. At least eight people were murdered over the weekend, police said.
On Monday, the New York Law Enforcement Labor Coalition urged politicians to “get out of the way” to allow police to do their jobs.
In one of the most recent shootings, a young woman was killed and six others were wounded in a shooting at a Brooklyn apartment building that followed an earlier shooting near a Sweet 16 birthday party, police said.
The first shooting happened shortly after 9 p.m. Sunday in the East New York neighborhood and left a 17-year-old boy wounded in the leg, New York Police Department Deputy Chief Michael Kemper said during a news conference. It wasn’t known what prompted that shooting.
The second shooting took place at about 11:15 p.m. in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, and police said it’s believed to be related to the first shooting. A 20-year-old woman was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead, police said.
Others shot at the apartment building ranged in age from 14 to 19 years old, according to preliminary information from police. They were expected to survive, police said.
No arrests were immediately reported. Police said they were looking for more than one suspect in the apartment shooting.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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