An MTA worker was scared for her life as a man smashed a cinderblock into the glass of her subway booth.
In a video the worker recorded at the City College subway station on April 5, you can hear her shaky breath and her cries for help. She told NBC New York in a phone interview Wednesday that the sound was so loud she thought someone had shot a gun at the glass.
"I have a 12-year-old and an 8-year-old and I was thinking the last time I was going to see them was that morning," the worker who wanted to remain anonymous said.
After police arrived and arrested the suspect, officers found he was armed with more than a cinderblock.
"To see they took an enlarged knife off him, it plays in my mind if he had got into the booth got through the glass, what was he going to do to me next," the worker said.
She and her workers' union, TWU Local 100, say the terrifying incident is part of a larger spike in violence against subway workers. There have been nearly 200 incidents of harassment or assault since the start of 2021, according to the union calling for more police presence.
The MTA has also called on the NYPD to do more than adding roughly 500 additional officers in recent months. However, the NYPD's Transit Chief suggests the transit agency and the union are wrong to say there has been a rise in crime.
“It’s a disservice to New Yorkers to advance a narrative that crime is soaring on the subways when that is simply not the case. Crime is at record lows at almost every category," Chief Kathleen O’Reilly told MTA board members at a meeting.
MTA board members pushed back on those claims, saying there's adjustment for lower ridership during the pandemic. The transit agency says subway crime in March of 2021 is double the number recorded in 2019.
"Our riders don't feel safe, right? And unless our riders feel safe, they're not gonna come back into the system," said MTA board member Haeda Mihaltses.
In fact, a recent MTA poll of riders showed that 72 percent of them are most concerned about crime and harassment in the subway.
The MTA worker who was attacked in her booth, as well as another worker who witnessed the incident, both remain on leave. They say they're too traumatized by what happened.