At least six people were stabbed in New York City’s subway system over the weekend, with the first attacks unfolding just hours after Mayor Eric Adams and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul unveiled a new plan to combat violence on public transit, authorities said.
Five people were stabbed in the subway system within just over 24 hours after Adams and Hochul revealed a 17-page “Subway Safety Plan,” which will see more police and mental health teams deployed across the subway system starting Monday.
A sixth person was stabbed Sunday evening on the 6 line near Canal Street, the New York Police Department said.
In the first incident, which was reported Friday evening, a male victim was alleged to have been 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, with one suspect accused of punching a 20-year-old woman in the back just before 3 p.m., according to police. A verbal dispute ensued, and the man allegedly pulled out a knife and stabbed the woman three times in the abdomen.
The woman was transported to an area hospital in stable condition. Her condition as of early Monday morning was not immediately clear.
In another incident reported around 8:30 p.m. Saturday night, a 24-year-old man was alleged to have been stabbed in the leg with a boxcutter after two teens approached him and attempted to rob him. The suspects fled the scene, police said.
A separate stabbing reported around 9 p.m. was alleged to have unfolded after the suspect and another person began smoking an unknown substance. When the victim asked them to move, the suspect allegedly responded by displaying a knife before stabbing the victim in the arm. The victim was taken to a local hospital for a puncture wound but was in stable condition, the NYPD said.
The weekend attacks came as New York City continues to contend with a rise in crime on public transit, with major crimes up by 65 percent this year, according to NBC New York.
The stabbings also came amid outcry over public transit safety following the death of Michelle Go, a 40-year-old woman who died when she was shoved in front of a New York subway car last month.
Go, who was alleged to have been attacked by a homeless man, Simon Martial, had been waiting for a train at the Times Square station when she was pushed from behind.
On Friday, Adams and Hochul announced that the new safety plan would address public safety concerns and support people experiencing homelessness and serious mental illness on New York City’s subways, while also cracking down on anyone sleeping across multiple seats, exhibiting aggressive behavior to passengers or creating an “unsanitary environment” in the subway system.
“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,” Adams said in a statement. “The days of turning a blind eye to this growing problem are over.”
“For too long our mental health care system suffered from disinvestment, and the pandemic has only made things harder for New Yorkers with serious mental illness who are experiencing homelessness,” Hochul added in a separate statement.
“We must work together to keep our subways — the lifeblood of New York City — safe for all riders, and to get help and services to those in need,” she said.