NEW YORK (CBS 2) – Police are stepping up their presence in the subways and handing out flyers, asking for the public’s help, after a string of attacks.
The mugging suspect was caught on surveillance video in the first of his three attacks, at 127th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue, reports CBS 2′s Magee Hickey. Police said he pulled a knife on a 37-year-old woman getting off the A train at 7:25 p.m. on Aug. 7, grabbing her pocketbook and running out onto the street.
“As a young woman, I ride the subway all by myself. It’s scary to think my safety is in danger,” subway rider Sophie Matthews said.
The second mugging, on Aug. 27, was actually on the A train itself, as it was pulling out of the Broadway and Dyckman Street Station heading to the end of the line at 207th Street. The same modus operandi was used in the second attack – a knife was flashed, and a purse was handed over – but this time, the mugging occurred in the wee hours, at 3:25 a.m.
“I don’t see no cops right now – it’s not safe,” straphanger Ruth Then said. “The should put more cops [here]. There should be more.”
The third mugging, though, has subway riders the most worried. At the 96th Street station, the subway mugger turned violent. During a struggle over the handbag, the suspect stabbed the 27-year-old victim in the torso.
“I always say, give them whatever they want. Your life is more valuable than that,” rider Ellie Parkinson said. “Not everybody knows that.”
One conductor had advice for women who ride the subways in the early morning hours.
“I suggest they ride with the train crews, either with the conductor or the front of the train,” conductor Carmen Rivera said. “Don’t ride in the last car.”