NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – After a subway menace violently shoved a woman into the side of a subway car, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing legislation to prevent people who commit violent crimes from entering an MTA facility again.
Law enforcement experts say it is really hard to enforce.
A man believed to be 23-year-old Isaiah Thompson shoved the woman head-first into the subway car at DeKalb subway station.
The latest incident was caught on camera Wednesday at the Dekalb Avenue station.
“Enough is enough. This is a crisis,” Cuomo said.
Thompson was arrested last night and charged with assault, reckless endangerment, menacing and criminal trespassing.
“This individual is a criminal, and it’s unacceptable that he be allowed to continue to create mayhem on the subways,” Byford said in a statement. “He should be banned from the system, period.”
“For the safety of the rest of the riders, I don’t see why not,” said commuter Brandon Carter.
“Either he’s going to jump the turnstile or get on the subway somehow,” commuter Harold Siroka countered.
Although violence on buses, subways and trains has been a growing problem – a man terrorizing straphangers with a hammer, another attacking a bus with a knife – it was Thompson, arrested at least 18 times over the past two years, that prompted Cuomo to call for a law revoking the right of violent felons and sexual perverts to take public transportation.
“There has to be a point where a judge can say ‘That’s it, you’ve committed too many crimes in the subway, you’ve hurt too many people,'” Cuomo said.
Retired NYPD chief Kevn Harrington says preventing someone from getting on the subway is challenging, to say the least.
“There’s not enough resources,” Harrington said. “Actually enforcing the bans… would be incredibly difficult for law enforcement.”
Officials say that even in subway stations that have cameras and high tech screen, it’s almost impossible to ban someone because there’s no facial recognition and with over 400 stations, well, the police can’t be everywhere.
Kramer asked the governor’s office how the ban will be enforced. A spokesperson told her “as the governor, the proposal will be unveiled early next year.”
An MTA spokesman said the agency will rely on the ability of cops to pick out so-called recidivist menaces – repeat offenders – from the crowds of people who use mass transit.
“I do think it’s an effort to placate the public, to feel like something’s being done,” Harrington said. “But I think they’re doing a disservice if they put a law out there that’s not operationally feasible.”
Riders are skepitcal.
“They’re just trying to appease the public, but I don’t think they can actually do it,” said Bronx resident James Dahs.
“I don’t think they can do it. People playing with your mind, that’s what it is,” said Long Island resident May Grant. “There’s too many.”
“I think you have to solve the problem of crime in the first place and not just in the subway,” said Halrem resident Laura Kozelousek.
As for alleged subway shover Isaiah Thompson, police say a woman has come forward to claim he shoved her into the side of an F train in Queens the same say as the brutal Brooklyn incident.