NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police are searching for a man who slashed a passenger inside the Times Square subway station.
Officers swarmed the train platform on Monday afternoon following what was yet another unprovoked attack in the transit system, CBS2’s Christina Fan reported Tuesday.READ MORE: Sources: Salman Muflihi Faces Hate Crime Charges In Stabbing Of Asian Man In Lower Manhattan
The 45-year-old victim said he had just arrived at the station after taking the Q train from Queens. He said the suspect approached him from behind, mumbled something, and then stabbed him on the right side of his back with a sharp object.
“Your life is at risk because, right now, a shelter is the train station,” said Jason Marzan of Bushwick, Brooklyn.
“There are times where I’m like, oh my God, oh my God, like what is somebody going to do?” said Gloria Okyereh of the Bronx.
The victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital and is expected to recover.
But other violent interactions between the mentally ill and passengers have turned deadly recently.
When a good Samaritan jumped down to help, the suspect tried attacking him and was electrocuted by the third rail.
The suspect’s mother said 35-year-old Malik Jackson was schizophrenic, had been off his medication for a month, and had not been receiving regular care because of the pandemic.Elizabeth Galarza Arrested For Allegedly Repeatedly Punching 2-Year-Old In The Face On Subway
Riders are pushing for more services.
“More reach out programs from them and more understanding because mental health is an illness. It’s a disease,” a woman named Paulette said.
“Probably a little bit more combination of investment from the city and shelters,” another rider said.
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Earlier this month, Sarah Feinberg, the interim president of New York City Transit, sent a letter to the Mayor Bill de Blasio demanding more NYPD presence in the transit system because of increasing crime.
The mayor’s office responded by saying the NYPD Transit Bureau is back at full capacity after many of its officers were reassigned following summer protests.
Riders told CBS2 they haven’t seen a difference.
“I’ll see them sometimes in the stations, in the lobby section of the stations, but not so much in the platforms or the trains. If they are there, tell me when they are there and I’ll feel better taking the train,” added Sue Gooding of the Bronx.
“There should be two down here. They should be on the tracks. There’s nothing to catch anybody. You can do anything here. Look, nobody there and that’s terrible. This is New York,” Marnie Saffrin said.
Police said the suspect in the Times Square attack is 25 to 30 years old and still on the run.
Anyone with information about the Times Square attack is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip via their website or on Twitter, @NYPDTips. All calls are kept confidential.MORE NEWS: New Yorkers At Bronx Food Pantry Describe Need For Federal Stimulus Checks, $15 Minimum Wage; 'Got To Choose Between Rent, Food'
CBS2’s Christina Fan contributed to this report