Four suspects are in custody after a string of slashings and stabbings on the subway that injured 5 people, the NYPD says.
- We want to begin with another violent day in the New York City subway system, four serious incidents at least five people injured.
- Three of those incidents happening along the number 4 line in a span of 12 minutes, just 12 minutes. Three people slashed, one person punched, and right now the four suspected attackers are in custody and being questioned. The big question we have, what's going on underground?
- Eyewitness News reporter Mike Marza live at Columbus Circle sorting it all out, Mike.
MIKE MARZA: Bill and Lauren, those four people in custody teenagers, a 17-year-old and an 18-year-old and two 19-year-olds. And police are investigating at this point if this was possibly part of some sort of gang initiation, the latest in another string of attacks underground. Four people in custody accused in a string of attacks in the subway overnight that left five people slashed or bruised on the 4, 5, 6 subway line. Three of the victims attacked in 12 minutes.
STEVEN HILL: At approximately 4:20 AM, a male, 44, was on a southbound 4 train when three to five male suspects approached him and slashed him on the left side of his cheek.
MIKE MARZA: Felony assault are up 81% in the subway system the past 28 days compared to the same time last year.
BOB BOYCE: We have problems here, and the perception is even worse than the problem, which is OK, people are allowed to think that. And it's not just in Manhattan, but it's everywhere.
MIKE MARZA: Former NYPD chief of detectives Bob Boyce served in the '90s, when subway crime soared.
BOB BOYCE: Officers have to be on the platform and have to be riding trains.
MIKE MARZA: The MTA is calling on the mayor to add 600 to 800 more uniformed officers into the system. The subway reopens to 24/7 service Monday. The overnight shutdown for cleaning that had forced everyone out of the system will end.
PAT FOYE: If there are rules in place that you can be in the system only to be transported. You can't just linger in the system. That's a rule, a rule that was put in place. We're going to be-- we're going to be enforcing that.
MIKE MARZA: Right below the MTA news conference today at Union Square, riders alerted officers to a man acting suspicious on the platform. When officers approached he yelled, "Rats", and left. The mayor blames politics for the narrative the system is unsafe, saying the city has added officers.
DERMOT SHEA: Combination of police officers deployed, overtime police officers deployed, auxiliary officers deployed, so that's the positive news. We're getting feedback that some people are seeing extra cops all over the city.
MIKE MARZA: And the feedback we received today from some of the riders underground is they want to see more police officers, not just above ground or even by the turnstiles, they want to see them actually on the train cars. As for the incidents that happened overnight, investigators are also looking into the possibility that there may be other people, other suspects out there. Of course they continue to investigate.