By Clayton Guse and Thomas Tracy
New York Daily News
NEW YORK — Cops on the front lines of a spike in subway crime are taking a beating, NYPD Transit chief Kathleen O’Reilly said Thursday.
The NYPD reported 42 felony assaults in the subway throughout January — and 15 of the victims were police officers. That’s three times the number of subway cops who were assaulted in January 2019, O’Reilly said.
The rise in cop beatings came before the NYPD deployed more than 500 extra cops into the subway over the weekend following a one-man stabbing spree on the A line that killed two people.
O’Reilly said the bulk of the recent cop assaults happened while officers attempted to make arrests. She said another attack earlier this week highlighted the problems underground.
“On Tuesday, two of my officers were spat on, punched and kicked when they confronted a man smoking inside the South Ferry subway station,” O’Reilly said during an MTA board meeting. “The individual, a state parolee, now faces multiple counts of assault.”
Most types of major crimes on the subway increased or remained flat in the first six weeks of the year compared to the same period of 2020 — even as ridership has decreased by 70% due to the pandemic.
Murders and burglaries both increased in the subway from Jan. 1 through Feb. 14 this year compared to last, NYPD data shows. Police reported the same number of rapes and assaults compared to last year.
O’Reilly said the blitz of cops into the subway should help reduce crime and make New Yorkers feel more comfortable about returning to mass transit.
“The ridership should feel secure by the increased uniformed presence,” said O’Reilly. “A common sight will be officers aboard trains, securing the entryways and patrolling platforms.”
(c)2021 New York Daily News