Police are investigating the stabbing death of a man who was found gashed in the chest on a southbound subway platform in Queens early Friday.
Cops responding to a 911 call of an unconscious man on the platform of the M/R line at the Grand Avenue station in Elmhurst discovered the victim around 5:45 a.m. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
No details on the man, a possible suspect, or cause for the killing were immediately available. However, some said the incident is another sign that the subway is not safe.
"I ride subway overnight, you know how many fights I've had to break up? How many assaults I've seen?" said rider and activist Charlton D'Souza. He said that NYPD stats showing subway crime is actually at its lowest in years don't tell the whole story. He echoed called by the MTA and its workers union to add more police above and beyond the more than 600 recently deployed.
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"We need 1,000 additional transit officers, NYPD, state troopers — even National Guard," he said.
But the Riders Alliance, a grassroots commuter group, disagrees. They insist that the subway is safe and more police is not needed.
"We couldn't find the tens of thousands of police officers that would be required to keep an eye on every subway platform and every train car," said Danny Pearlstein, of the Riders Alliance. "It needs to be New Yorkers looking out for each other and keeping each other safe in transit."
Pearlstein said he feels safe riding the subway with his 3-year-old, and believes the focus should be on improving service, not scaring riders.
Still, other riders and workers claim they don't feel safe. On Thursday alone, the MTA said four workers were attacked or harassed in one day — and that's in addition to the nearly 200 who have had such things happen to them since the start of the year.