Man with long rap sheet arrested in pair of subway attacks

A man "with an arrest record as long as my arm," according to NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, pushed one subway rider onto the tracks in Queens and then attacked another later in the day Thursday.

Video Transcript

- The NYPD's top cop today calling New York a city in crisis. That declaration after yet another violent assault underground, a teenager shoved onto the subway tracks. Eyewitness News reporter Jim Dolan has more on the suspect now in custody, and on the police commissioner's growing frustration. He's living midtown. Jim.

JIM DOLAN: Yes, Sandra, the police commissioner says this is quickly spiraling into a crisis for the city. Violent, predatory criminals released by the courts to attack people in the subways and out on the streets. It happened again just yesterday.

17-year-old Edgar Quirizumbay was just waiting for a train when a stranger walked up.

EDGAR QUIRIZUMBAY: He approaches me, and he had his fist clocked. He tried to punch me with his left hand but I reacted to it. So I went like this and he went like this. And then after that he grabbed me with his both hands on the right shoulder and pushed me onto the tracks.

JIM DOLAN: The man, Edgar had never seen him before, leaned over and yelled at Edgar who was still on the track bed.

EDGAR QUIRIZUMBAY: He kept on saying, "Don't do that again. Don't do that again."

JIM DOLAN: The man arrested and charged with Mr. Quirizumbay's assault is no stranger to the criminal justice system. We don't have enough time in this newscast to go through his extensive criminal history, which has often been violent.

DERMOT SHEA: Something is clearly broken here and it's a crisis

JIM DOLAN: The commissioner refers to a series of violent crimes recently, all allegedly committed by people with long criminal backgrounds who were recently released by the courts, including the man who stomped and kicked an Asian woman in Manhattan this week, and the family that was slashed by a stranger, their one-year-old baby stabbed in the face.

DERMOT SHEA: This is who we are putting back onto the street. And within a month he's stabbing a one-year-old child in a stroller. I can't tell you how angry I am.

EDGAR QUIRIZUMBAY: I mean, he shouldn't be allowed. Because there's so many other people around my age in this neighborhood and they all use the train. So for that man to be out there is dangerous for everyone.

JIM DOLAN: Yeah, it is. The police commissioner said today that if the state doesn't do something to tighten up the recently relaxed parole and release guidelines, this whole problem is going to get a whole lot worse.