Lower Manhattan Terror Attack Drove Murders Up Compared With Last Year

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The NYPD reported Friday that New York City saw overall crime fall again in October, though the Halloween terror attack on the West Side bike path drove murders slightly up compared with last year.

There was also an increase in rapes, police said.

There were 197 fewer index crimes – murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, larceny, and arson – in October 2017 compared with October 2016, the NYPD said. That amounts to a drop of 2.2 percent.

There were also 11 percent fewer shootings, a drop of 13.1 percent compared with October of last year, the NYPD said.

The reductions contributed to a drop of 4,617 crimes this year through October, or 5.4 percent, compared with the same period last year, the NYPD said.

But the eight people killed Tuesday in the terror attack in Lower Manhattan drove the total number of murders for the month up to 26 – four more, or 18.2 percent more – compared with the same period last year.

Authorities say 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov, an immigrant from Uzbekistan, steered a rented truck onto the bike path Tuesday and sped south toward the World Trade Center, striking cyclists and pedestrians.

He was shot by a police officer after crashing the truck into a school bus. He was arraigned Wednesday on terrorism charges.

Meanwhile, the NYPD said rapes were also up compared with the same period last year – with 147 in October 2017 compared with 126 in October 2017. The change amounts to an increase of 16.7 percent, the NYPD said.

Robberies were down 9.9 percent, with 1,231 for October 2017 compared with 1,366 for October 2016. Felonious assaults were down 1.2 percent – with 1,712 this October compared with 1,732 last October. Burglaries were down 0.6 percent – with 1,138 this October compared with 1,145 last October. Grand larcenies were down 1.7 percent, but motor vehicle thefts were up 1.4 percent.

“The City of New York is the safest big city in the United States, and that’s thanks to the professionalism, cooperation and bravery exhibited this week by first responders and New Yorkers alike,” Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill said in a news release. “One of the things we know, as we strive to make the City even safer, is that there will be challenges. It is our shared responsibility to meet them head-on.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio – who is up for reelection on Tuesday of next week – added in the release: “On this week when the NYPD took extraordinary action in the face of terror, we learned that our city has just had yet another month of falling crime. On behalf of 8.5 million New
Yorkers, who have such pride in our police force, I want to thank the brave men and women of the NYPD. We see them on duty and we know we are protected by the very best.”

The NYPD added that there were 236 crimes reported in the Transit Bureau in October – up 5.4 percent from the 224 reported the same month last year. But Housing Bureau crimes were down 9.7 percent compared with last October.