At least six people were stabbed in New York City’s subway system over the weekend, the New York City Police Department said, just hours after officials unveiled a new plan to address safety and combat violence on public transit.
The first of the attacks unfolded shortly after Mayor Eric Adams and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Feb. 18 announced the Subway Safety Plan aimed at addressing public safety concerns on the city’s subways.
The joint initiative also aims to support homeless individuals and provide services for those with serious mental illness on New York City’s subways.
It went into effect Monday and includes comprehensive investments in both short and long-term solutions to help tackle the issues currently impacting the subway system.
But the NYPD said a string of stabbings had taken place over the weekend, with the first happening shortly after the initiative was announced, inside a Queens subway station on Friday evening.
A male victim was allegedly slashed in the forearm around 5 p.m., the NYPD told NBC New York. He was taken to a hospital and was in stable condition, police said.
On Saturday, at least four incidents were reported, including one early in the morning when a homeless man was allegedly stabbed after an attempted robbery at Jamaica station in Queens, police told NBC.
In another incident just before 3 p.m. Saturday, on the 3 train platform at Livonia and Van Siclen Avenue in Brooklyn, police said a male punched a 20-year-old woman in the back before pulling out a knife and stabbing the woman three times in the abdomen following a verbal dispute, according to NBC.
At around 8:30 p.m on the same day, a 24-year-old man was the victim of an attempted robbery, police told NBC. Two teenagers approached the victim and tried to rob him and a struggle ensued. The young man was stabbed in the leg with a boxcutter and the suspects fled the scene.
Around 30 minutes later, another attack took place at the W. 116th Street station. In that incident, a 31-year-old man was riding the 1 train when he came across two people smoking an unknown substance. The victim asked the smoker to move, to which the suspect allegedly responded by pulling out a knife before stabbing the victim in the arm, according to NBC.
He was taken to the hospital in stable condition.
A sixth person was stabbed Sunday evening on the 6 line near Canal Street, NBC News reported, citing the NYPD.
The Epoch Times has contacted the NYPD for comment.
Unveiling the new plan to combat violence and homelessness on public transit last week, Mayor Adams, a Democrat, said it is “cruel and inhumane to allow unhoused people to live on the subway, and unfair to paying passengers and transit workers who deserve a clean, orderly, and safe environment.”
“The days of turning a blind eye to this growing problem are over, and I look forward to collaborating with the state, the federal government, TWU, advocates, and law enforcement to solve this challenge. It will take time, but our work starts now,” he said.
The plan includes multiple steps to address the issues currently impacting New York City’s subway system, including deploying up to 30 joint response teams to “high-need locations” across the city, incorporating medical services into DHS sites that serve homeless people, offering on-site physical and behavioral health care to those in need, and “streamlining” the process of placing homeless individuals into supportive housing, among others.
A budget for the initiative is unclear.
The new initiative comes after an Asian woman was pushed to her death in front of an oncoming train in the city in January.
Michelle Alyssa Go, 40, was waiting on the southbound platform inside Times Square subway station on Saturday morning when Simon Martial, 61, who has mental health issues, pushed her onto the train tracks and she was struck by an R train, officials said.
Police are investigating the incident but believe the attack was unprovoked.