NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Subway safety fears are growing after several high-profile violent incidents.
Surveillance videos shows a man arguing with an MTA clerk just before police say he lit several matches and threw them into the booth’s money slot in an attempted arson. Another image appears to show him making a menacing gesture with his hand, as if pointing a gun.
“It is definitely scary,” one rider said.
It happened Wednesday at the Fulton Street station. But for some riders, it’s yet another example of wild and dangerous behavior on the subway that has left them uncomfortable and nervous, CBS2’s Scott Rapoport reported.
“Scary, scary. Truthfully, scary. You just don’t know what to expect,” said another rider.
Last Friday, a dog attacked a woman after she asked its owner to take the animal off the bench next to her.
Later that night, police said a man in a “Make America Great Again” hat started fighting with another man before pushing him onto the tracks at Union Square.
Some riders say it’s just too much to think about.
“I can’t think about it,” one woman said. “Because if you think about it, then you will be afraid to leave your house.”
“I think that riders are scared and they’re frustrated, because they don’t know what to expect on the train every day,” said Jaqi Cohen, of Straphangers Campaign.
The NYPD insists the number of reported crimes on the subway is down 9.5 percent over last year.
Still, many riders are uneasy.
Security experts say they should be proactive about their safety from the moment they get on the train – be aware of their surroundings and keep their eyes and ears open.
“Know who they’re sitting next to. If they feel that something is going to happen, move,” security consultant Ray Phillips said.
He also said to pick a middle car. That’s where conductors usually ride. And it can’t hurt to stand near the door and where there are other people who might intervene if there’s trouble.
The MTA declined an on-camera interview but said in a statement the NYPD is responsible for keeping the subway safe.