NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating after an Asian man was shoved onto the subway tracks Monday in Queens.
Police said a Good Samaritan came to the man’s rescue and pulled him off the tracks.READ MORE: Washington Heights Public School Celebrates Record 90% Graduation Rate With In-Person Pomp And Circumstance
As CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas reported, it was the latest in a series of violent crimes adding to concerns about subway safety.
At around 7:45 a.m., officers responded to calls about a 35-year-old man who was pushed onto the tracks of the southbound F train at the Queensbridge station in Long Island City.
Police said witnesses heard the suspect say something to the victim before shoving him onto the tracks.
“More police in the station, more security,” subway rider Clara Velazqez said.
The victim was taken to Mount Sinai Astoria with cuts to his head.READ MORE: NYPD Hosts Block Party In Same Mount Eden Neighborhood Where Children Were Caught In Middle Of Gunfire
“There is no higher priority for the MTA than the safety and security of our customers. Like other transit systems across the country, the MTA has experienced a significant dip in ridership as a result of the pandemic and a spike in crime,” MTA spokesperson Michael Cortez said in a statement after Monday’s attack. “We continue to call on the de Blasio Administration to partner with us and do more to address these incidents in the subway and the ongoing mental health crisis in the city.”
This latest incident came one week after Mayor Bill de Blasio dedicated 250 more officers to the subways, bringing totals to more than 3,000 amid a rising number of violent crimes and mounting pressure for the city to step up patrols.
“The fact that we put this much focus, this much personnel into the subways, unquestionably is going to have a huge impact. But we’re going to keep doing whatever it takes, including the mental health services in the subways, the homeless outreach in the subways,” the mayor said Monday.
Police are trying to track down the suspect, who fled the scene, as riders stay on guard.
“The violence, it has to cool down. I don’t feel right about it,” rider Curtis Gleaton said.
“Try to stay safe, be alert, never get close to the edge of the platform, be on guard. Unfortunately, that’s the times we live in,” said one rider.MORE NEWS: NYPD Introducing New Crisis Response Training To De-Escalate Situations Where Suspect Does Not Have A Gun
According to police, there was a language barrier, so the victim did not know what was said during the attack. It is under investigation as a possible hate crime.