A 74-year-old man, returning home from work on Manhattan’s Upper East Side early Tuesday, became the victim of an unprovoked attack when an apparent neighborhood homeless individual pushed him onto the subway tracks, according to the police.
The victim, employed at a Fifth Avenue parking garage, was allegedly singled out by the assailant, who accused him of staring before the unprovoked assault occurred while they both waited for the 6 train. The attacker, described as disheveled and possibly grappling with mental health challenges, left the victim with initially perceived minor injuries. However, medical examination by the NYPD revealed multiple rib and pelvic injuries, along with a spine fracture, as a result of the fall.
Police detectives have since obtained video evidence capturing the attack and the suspect exiting the station.
While this incident does not align with any discernible pattern, authorities are actively investigating other occurrences involving a homeless individual in the neighborhood.
NYPD Transit Chief Michael Kemper noted that subway-related crimes have seen a 4.5% reduction this year compared to the previous year, resulting in 70 fewer crime victims. He stressed the rarity of such incidents and reaffirmed law enforcement’s commitment to swiftly identifying and apprehending those responsible.
To date this year, ten individuals have been pushed onto subway tracks, a decrease from the 19 incidents reported at this point last year, according to police data.
In November, Mayor Eric Adams initiated a directive authorizing officers, EMS personnel, and city agents to intervene and take individuals displaying signs of mental illness and posing a risk to themselves into custody for psychiatric evaluation. This strategy aims to address the intersection of homelessness and mental health concerns.
“Without that intervention, they remain lost and isolated from society, tormented by delusions and disordered thinking,” Mayor Adams stated at the time, emphasizing the city’s commitment to providing assistance to those in need.