NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Many train riders fear a dangerous encounter, like being pushed onto the tracks.
On Thursday night, that became a reality for a man at the Union Square subway station in what police called an unprovoked attack, CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported.
Police said just after midnight the 27-year-old victim was standing on the platform waiting for a Q train when a 57-year-old woman approached him and shoved him onto the tracks. He was pulled to safety.
“I’m shocked,” rider Marguerita Brown told Gainer. “It’s been happened a lot lately. It’s been happening a lot, and I think they ought to do something about it, put some guardrails.”
The woman, identified as Marjorie Chambers, was taken to NYC Health+Hospitals/Bellevue for psychiatric evaluation and charged with reckless endangerment.
According to the Manhattan district attorney, she has been arrested before, as recently as last year for criminal trespass in a subway tunnel at Broadway and West 145th Street.
Subway pushes seem to happen quite frequently, Gainer reported.
In August, a woman was shoved off a platform by a complete stranger in the East Village. In October, also at the Union Square station, a woman was arrested for allegedly trying to push a stranger in front of an oncoming train.
According to the NYPD, a subway push is typically categorized as an assault. The actual number of pushes is not specifically tracked. But between March of last year and now, there have been 57 arrests in the subway for assault.
Gainer spoke with straphangers Friday, asking what they do to stay safe.
“Try to keep aware of what’s around you, your surroundings,” Eddie Sutton said. “I’m standing now about eight feet, 10 feet until the train comes.”
“I’ve heard it happen before. I’ve never seen it personally. But you just want to be careful,” said Rashell Henry, who was also standing several feet away.
Another safety tip: Remove your headphones, so you can also hear what’s going on around you.