November 30, 2023

A 30-year-old girl was in crucial situation on Wednesday after a person described by regulation enforcement officers as emotionally disturbed pushed her right into a transferring subway prepare in an apparently random assault at a Manhattan station.

The girl, whom the police didn’t determine, was on the platform on the 53rd Avenue/Fifth Avenue station shortly after midday when the person shoved her towards a departing E prepare, the police mentioned. Witnesses mentioned the attacker was speaking to himself earlier than he pushed her.

The girl fell onto the subway tracks after her head hit the prepare, Michael Kemper, the Police Division’s chief of transit, mentioned at a information convention Wednesday afternoon. “Good Samaritans” helped her again onto the platform, Chief Kemper mentioned.

She was taken to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital with a head harm and was in crucial situation, police officers mentioned. The police have been searching for a suspect they recognized as Sabir Jones, 39. Chief Kemper mentioned Mr. Jones was “identified to the division.”

“He’s identified to us within the subway system,” the chief mentioned, including that video from safety cameras within the station had helped investigators determine Mr. Jones because the suspect.

Mr. Jones has a historical past of homelessness, psychological sickness and drug abuse, in keeping with an individual who was given entry to a few of his social service information.

In November 2021, outreach employees from the group that does homeless outreach on the subway, the Bowery Residents’ Committee, talked to him at a station in Manhattan, the place he instructed them he used K2, took psychiatric treatment and had been homeless for 4 years, the particular person mentioned.

A number of weeks later, Mr. Jones was encountered at a station in Queens. An outreach employee wrote that he could be a great candidate for a kind of less-restrictive homeless shelter known as a “protected haven,” as a result of he “was in a position to reveal nonthreatening conduct” and “communicated successfully with a pleasant demeanor.” Mr. Jones didn’t seem to have gone to the shelter, the particular person mentioned.

The prospect of turning into against the law sufferer on the subway is low, however high-profile assaults have fed fears over the security of a system that’s battling to win again riders. Being shoved all of the sudden on a subway platform particularly is a perennial city nightmare.

By way of Oct. 15, there had been 15 individuals pushed off subway platforms in New York Metropolis this yr, in contrast with 22 in the identical interval final yr, the police mentioned. Officers couldn’t say how lots of the episodes resulted in critical accidents however that lots of those that have been shoved had managed to scramble to security.

In Might, a girl was critically injured after a man shoved her head against a moving subway train on the Lexington Avenue/63rd Avenue station. The girl, Emine Yilmaz Ozsoy, 35, was partially paralyzed within the assault.

The final deadly subway push occurred in January 2022, when Michelle Go, 40, was shoved onto the tracks on the Instances Sq. station and hit by an oncoming R prepare. Martial Simon, 61, a schizophrenic homeless man with a history of erratic behavior, was charged with second-degree murder in Ms. Go’s death however deemed unfit to face trial.

The deadly shoving of Ms. Go prompted renewed requires the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates the subway, to discover installing the kind of platform barriers used in subway systems around the world to dam entry to tracks. In February 2022, the authority introduced plans to check such limitations at three stations.

Hours after the assault on Wednesday, cops posted at an entrance to the 53rd Station have been nonetheless turning away individuals by the handfuls.

Natalie Tanner, 23, who was visiting from Ottawa, mentioned she was troubled to be taught that somebody had been pushed however would proceed utilizing the subway as a result of it was the least costly and quickest method to navigate town.

“That is like one thing out of a TV present,” Ms. Tanner mentioned. “It’s unbelievable.”

Chelsia Rose Marcius and Andy Newman contributed reporting.

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