Cellist Assaulted in NYC Subway Calls for Better Protection for Musicians

A New York City cellist, Iain Forrest, has announced that he will cease performing in the subway until adequate protection is provided for musicians in the city’s transit system. Forrest, 29, expressed his disappointment in having to make this decision after enduring a second assault while playing his cello in the past year. In an Instagram post on Sunday, he stated, “Two attacks in less than a year is two too much.” Forrest, an MD-PhD student at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine, emphasized that he is not alone in facing such incidents, as many subway performers have been subjected to attacks, harassment, and robberies.

To address this issue, Forrest is urging fellow musicians to join the Subway Performers Advocacy Group (SPAG) and demand enhanced security measures from the city at transit hubs. He highlighted the lack of crime statistics specifically related to subway musicians, stressing the need for better understanding of when and why these attacks occur. By allocating police resources more effectively, preventive measures can be implemented.

Forrest is among the hundreds of volunteers participating in the MTA’s Music Under New York program, which schedules performances by musicians at various transit hubs across the city. His recent plea for increased safety comes as the NYPD City Crime Stoppers released a clearer video of his assailant, offering a reward of up to $3,500 for information leading to her arrest.

The assault took place last Tuesday at the 34th Street-Herald Square subway station, where the suspect used Forrest’s own water bottle to strike him in the back of the head before fleeing. The incident was captured on video by fans recording Forrest’s performance, showing the musician in pain, clutching his head and instrument.

The MTA issued a statement following the attack, expressing their commitment to ensuring the safety of everyone in the transit system, including musicians. They emphasized that the perpetrator would be held accountable once apprehended by the NYPD.

Author: CrimeDoor

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