NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An accused subway slasher is set to be arraigned Friday in Brooklyn criminal court.
Ras Alula Nagarit, 37, was charged Thursday with felony assault, attempted assault, menacing and weapon possession.
Police said Nagarit admits he was the man on board a southbound No. 3 train in Brooklyn around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday when he walked up to a 29-year-old woman, allegedly telling her: “I will chop you up on this train,” CBS2’s Janelle Burrell reported.
Investigators said Nagarit then slashed the woman with a cloth-covered machete, leaving a two-inch gash on her hand.
According to police, these random slashings in the city are now happening weekly.
A man attacked a 71-year-old woman Monday morning on a D train pulling into the Broadway-Lafayette station.
Yet another man was slashed Wednesday night on a subway platform in East Harlem, police said. That incident happened on the southbound No. 6 train platform beneath Lexington Avenue and 116th Street, police said.
And back in December, a man was randomly slashed in the face at the A Train subway stop at Nostrand Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, and a woman was caught on video slashing two victims on the same train line several days later.
It’s increasingly becoming a concern among many New Yorkers.
“There is something very frightening about somebody coming up to to slash you,” said Harriet Jackson of Riverdale.
“Oh yea, very concerned; you don’t know where it’s coming from because it seems to be so random,” said Marie Hiller.
“I’ve always felt very safe in this city and I feel safe, but it’s always crazy to hear such a thing,” said Hank Weil.
CBS2 asked Police Commissioner Bill Bratton whether he was concerned for his own wife’s safety.
“My wife rides it (the subway system). It is a very safe system,” Bratton said.
The commissioner rode the system for two hours on Thursday to reassure riders.
“It is a safe city. It is a safe subway system,” he said.
But patrols have been increased underground, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.
“We’re putting some additional resources into the subways for the time being to reassure the ridership that they are safe riding that subway,” Bratton said. “And we need your cooperation, meaning you the press and the public to help us when we identify one of these characters, get them very quickly before they can commit a second act.”
The commissioner said the suspects have no connection and that the similarities are a coincidence.