Frustrated New York City straphangers are sounding off after yet another unprovoked case of subway violence, the third in the transit system this week, according to police, left a good Samaritan slashed in the face -- and one victim's TikTok recounting of her experience is resonating strongly with hundreds of thousands of them.
The stories have felt all-too-familiar and all-too-frequent in recent months for many. On Sunday, a 36-year-old was gashed for trying to stop a man who was randomly harassing commuters at a Brooklyn subway station. Six days earlier, a 68-year-old woman was pushed down a staircase at the Union Turnpike-Kew Gardens hub in Queens, another allegedly unprovoked attack, cops say.
A victim from a different violent incident took to social media to warn others to remain vigilant while on the train -- and her message is going viral.
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"Could I have done something, did I deserve it? Like what did I do to deserve this? I kept asking myself over and over and over," asked Vesly Beato, who says she's traumatized after a bizarre but scary attack on the subway on Friday.
Beato says she was sitting next to her 15-year-old cousin as they were heading uptown on the 1 train that afternoon. As it pulled into the 66th Street station, she says she was blindsided by a slap to the face.
"The train doors open and I hear the slap. That's when I look up and everyone is looking at me. It feels like everything stopped at that moment," she said. "I look over to my cousin, she’s crying. And then I hear, 'She's bleeding.'"
Beato says she was in shock, she didn't even realize that a complete stranger had just slapped her across the face before running off the train, never even making eye contact or saying a word.
The slap left a gash across her nose and Beato says she went to the hospital. Her TikTok post has now been viewed more than a million times.
"I've been here my entire life and never in a million years did I think I would be one of those people to get f-----g assaulted on a damn train," she says in the video.
Investigators said that since January, there have been five murders, eight rapes, 347 assaults and 365 robberies in the city's subway and transit system.
Violent crime in the subway system was up nearly 57% in July compared with the same time period a year ago, statistics show -- and while those numbers don't consider the possible impact of post-pandemic reduced ridership, the cases themselves are cause enough for concern, according to victims like Beato.
"These are senseless attacks that don’t make any sense. And if you can start with such a simple attack, what else are you going to do?" she said.