A recent string of face slashings on the city’s subway has some riders nervous, while others say you just have to keep an eye open for any strange behavior.
On Monday, police reported two slashings of female subway riders. The first occurred at the Broadway-Lafayette subway station as the victim was exiting the D train at around 6:50 a.m. The suspect — who is still at large — slashed the woman’s face and fled.
Later that same morning at 7:30 a.m. a 71-year-old woman was attacked on a 6 train at the Bleecker Street station, leaving her with a 4-inch cut across her cheek. The slasher was later turned in to the police by his own grandmother.
Another attack occurred on Tuesday night at the 116th Street station in East Harlem. A 32-year-old man was waiting for the 6 train when another man approached him and cut his face before running away.
That same night, a 29-year-old woman was cut on her right hand by another subway rider who allegedly said “I will chop up on this train,” before hitting her with an object wrapped in a cloth.
Since the start of the new year, a total of 11 face slashings have occurred in the city, according to ABC New York.
Police said the number of slashings and stabbings has increased 14.8 percent with 286 incidents this January — compared to 249 during the same period in 2015.
The police also said they don’t believe the incident on Monday is connected to any of the other cases and it was just a copycat attack, the New York Daily News reported.
Although these recent crimes have occurred randomly, cops told Metro NY that the majority of stabbings reported are not random.
Police Commissioner William Bratton said Wednesday there is a large police presence on the subways and authorities are making quick arrests.
For 14-year-old Shakira Mills, Tuesday night’s first slashing was the scariest for her because it happened just a few blocks from her home and it’s a station she usually frequents.
“I feel scared because I feel like it’s a lot of women being targeted,” Mills said. “I’m looking around a lot more because I don’t want to get slashed in the face. I don’t want to be one of those random people.”
She added her mom advised her to get up and leave a subway car if she ever feels someone staring at her strangely or acting suspicious.
Fernando Aguile, 47, of Brooklyn also said he is scared but primarily for his children who take the subway to and from school every day.
“I think it’s disgusting. It doesn’t make sense,” he said of the incidents. “My children take the train so I’m worried. I hope [the police] catch all of them."
However, for some straphangers, the slew of slashings has not made them feel scared instead they say it is more reason to remain alert and just take caution when riding the subway.
“I’m not necessarily scared but I know to be careful now, to look around if someone is suspicious,” said Naeemah Allen, 14, from Harlem.
Abbey Close, who takes the train at least twice a day with her three children, and says she almost always have a positive experience, advises commuters to just stay alert and most importantly be kind to one another.
She also said that she believes maybe the weather is behind why certain people choose to act out.
“Maybe our extreme cold has agitated people to hurt each other,” Close said. “The randomness and goriness is shocking. My heart goes out to the victims and families. Do what you can to keep yourself safe."
According to police, if anyone sees something suspicious they are asked either to call 911 or reach out to a police officer at the station.
By: Angy Altamirano, Metro New York[Feature Image Courtesy Instagram]