A man was stabbed with an ice pick in a shocking assault on the New York City subway.
The 28-year-old victim was riding a northbound D train, commuting home to the Bronx, when he was attacked on 5 May, the New York Post reported.
Police said he was attacked after a man boarded the train and sat next to him. The victim moved from his seat because he felt uncomfortable. This action angered the assailant, and he reportedly yelled: “You’re a f****t.”
The victim yelled back: “Suck my d**k”.
Sources told the New York Post that the attacker then stabbed the victim with an ice pick in the stomach before fleeing the train at the West 155th and Eighth Avenue station.
The victim exited the subway at the 161st Street-Yankee Stadium station in the Bronx. He was taken to the Lincoln Medical Center where he is recovering from non-life-threatening injuries.
The New York Post reported the violent attack is part of a recent rash of violence in the New York City subway system.
Another horrific attack happened on the same night – about five minutes after the stabbing – involving an off-duty Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) conductor.
Gerard Sykes, 52, was riding a northbound J train at the Crescent Street station when a man passing through train cars attacked him with a box cutter without warning, according to police.
The New York Post reported Sykes was stabbed in the left eye and ear and suffered from slashes on the forehead. He was taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where he was scheduled for surgery.
The Transport Workers Union of America (TWU) Local 100 has called for New York governor Andrew Cuomo and US transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg to step in and provide more funding for police and additional safety measures for the MTA.
The union also released a video of Sykes’ aunt, Cassandra Sykes, pleading with New York City mayor Bill de Blasio to “do something” to protect the public.
Cassandra Sykes said it is not safe for transport workers or the public to ride on public transportation, and that she is “angry as hell”.
“Something needs to be done,” she said. “We cannot keep living like this day after day, worrying about our people that [are] getting up, coming to work for you. Do something. Please. We are begging you.”
The MTA told NBC New York that the spate of violent incidents is a “stark reminder of why the city needs to surge essential mental health services and police officers ASAP”.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) said it had added more than 600 officers underground. The department also said the MTA and union had been scarring riders with overreaction.
However, governor Cuomo admitted in a news conference on 3 May that he didn’t feel safe when he rides on the subway, according to NBC New York. He said: “I am smart. I am New York tough. Don’t lie to me and don’t play meMan as a fool.