Subway shoving incidents in Manhattan are on an “alarming” pace to more than double in 2021 — compared to the already abnormally high number tallied in 2020, District Attorney Cy Vance said Monday.
“There’s an alarming trend I want to draw attention to, which is the rise in subway pushings in Manhattan,” the retiring prosecutor revealed during a virtual City Council budget hearing.
“This is of great concern, and it causes an enormous amount of fear among folks taking public transportation.”
So far in 2021, the borough has seen six reported instances of a straphanger being shoved onto the tracks, “putting Manhattan on a pace for between 27 and 28 pushings by the end of this year,” said Vance.
By comparison, the borough saw 11 such incidents in 2020, according to Vance.
But the prosecutor noted that even last year’s tally blew away years prior, “in spite of dramatically reduced ridership” during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
There were five Manhattan subway shovings in 2019, and six in 2018, Vance said.
“I’m not prepared to offer an explanation for this staggering increase, but I do hope that increased ridership on the subways will serve as a deterrent,” said Vance. “And I do hope the city and its leaders, as well as the state leaders, will understand the connection between those who may be suffering from mental illness and incidents of crime that occur in our subways.
“We need to invest in significant ways to help those individuals in our communities who do have a mental illness, and I do believe that is one way will protect the residents of New York City and its visitors.”
The NYPD last month deployed an additional 644 officers throughout the subway system citywide in an effort to tamp down crime on the rails, including shovings that Commissioner Dermot Shea said were becoming “too common.”