MTA Boss Vows New York City Won’t Surrender to Subway Crime Surge

MTA CEO Janno Lieber delivered a resolute message during a Metropolitan Transportation Authority board meeting in downtown Manhattan on Wednesday, emphasizing that New York City cannot succumb to the rising tide of subway crime. Lieber’s remarks came in the wake of a tragic incident where an innocent commuter was pushed to his death in a subway attack. The suspect, Carlton McPherson, a 24-year-old Bronx resident with a history of mental illness and a lengthy criminal record, has been charged with murder.

Expressing his deep concern over the recent surge in transit crime, Lieber, a native New Yorker, recalled a time when subway breakdowns and criminal activities were more prevalent. He highlighted the stark contrast his children experienced, being able to travel safely on the subway at all hours. “We’re not going back. We’re not going back!” Lieber asserted, emphasizing the city’s commitment to maintaining a safe public transportation system.

Lieber’s firm stance reflects the sentiment that surrendering to criminals or individuals with severe mental health issues is not an option. He acknowledged the compassion felt for those struggling with mental illness but emphasized that millions of New Yorkers rely on mass transit to lead their lives. “There is no New York for them without mass transit,” Lieber stated.

The recent incident involving McPherson is part of a disturbing trend of violent crimes within the city’s subway system. Last year, felony assaults in the underground transit system increased by 53% compared to pre-pandemic times, with 570 reported attacks in 2023. While the exact cause of this alarming spike remains unclear, several recent incidents have been linked, at least in part, to mental illness.

A recent investigation by The Post revealed that half of the individuals arrested for assaulting MTA employees in the subway system last year had documented histories of mental illness. Out of the 38 individuals charged in 41 separate assaults, 20 had previous arrests and known psychological problems. To address this issue, the MTA has implemented new teams responsible for intervening when mentally ill individuals experience breakdowns at stations. Over the past three months, these teams have successfully removed 90 people from the transit system, ensuring they receive the necessary help and support.

Governor Kathy Hochul has pledged $20 million to expand the program from two to ten teams as part of her crime-fighting plan to combat transit-related offenses. The MTA highlighted the success of these mental health intervention teams during the board meeting, emphasizing their role in preventing individuals from ending up back on the streets.

Author: CrimeDoor

1 Response

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