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Klaralven

(7,510 posts)
Mon Feb 15, 2021, 07:37 AM Feb 2021

NYC seeing terrifying string of straphangers shoved onto subway tracks

Despite big decrease in riders during COVID pandemic, NYC seeing terrifying string of straphangers shoved onto subway tracks

It’s a common New York fear.

You’re standing on a subway platform, minding your own business, when you’re suddenly shoved to the tracks below — right in front of a 400-ton train that won’t be able to stop in time.

It doesn’t happen often — but at least six straphangers have been victimized by random attacks in the past two months, including Washington Heights resident Rafael Wilson.

Wilson, 26, was waiting for an uptown A train at the Fulton Center in lower Manhattan on Feb. 2, listening to music on his headphones, when out of nowhere a man sneaked up from behind and shoved him in the back.

Wilson was pushed so hard that he landed just a few feet away from the third rail, which powers subway trains with 600 lethal volts of direct current electricity.

Police are familiar with the attacker — Calvin Wilson, 38, of no relation to the victim. He has a history of mental illness and a rap sheet that includes a Dec. 2 arrest for threatening a transit worker with a metal pipe, police said.

https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ny-mta-subway-shoves-mental-health-trend-20210215-rrjrggdvsjhppnbra5j2mdk5km-story.html
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NYC seeing terrifying string of straphangers shoved onto subway tracks (Original Post) Klaralven Feb 2021 OP
NYC has no appeal to me Rorey Feb 2021 #1
There's nothing there worth the $40 for a ride in and back Klaralven Feb 2021 #8
I've been there many times--typically for professional conferences. If you have $$$ it can be great hlthe2b Feb 2021 #9
It's the crowds, among other things Rorey Feb 2021 #14
I lived in the northeast over 30 years ago, and spent a lot of time in NYC shrike3 Feb 2021 #21
Frank disagrees 😉 Dem4Life1102 Feb 2021 #10
That's too bad PJMcK Feb 2021 #25
I agree kcr Feb 2021 #28
I love NYC! Lived there moonscape Feb 2021 #30
I love where I live, but many don't share my opinion Rorey Feb 2021 #31
One more reason North Shore Chicago Feb 2021 #2
AMEN! Earbuds and staring at that GD phone screen make me crazy. Pay attention to the world! CurtEastPoint Feb 2021 #3
Exactly... One can become a victim anywhere. I only wear "NON-noise cancelling" earbuds hlthe2b Feb 2021 #4
This! LisaM Feb 2021 #11
Absolutely Rorey Feb 2021 #15
Why I would never wear earbuds while going about my business. And why I rarely look at my phone when shrike3 Feb 2021 #22
Given they are shoved WHILE WAITING for the train, why are they calling them "straphangers?" hlthe2b Feb 2021 #5
Straphangers is a common term for bus or subway riders. LisaM Feb 2021 #12
As I said, I am well aware of the use of the term for those who stand on the subway. They were hlthe2b Feb 2021 #13
It annoyed me too soothsayer Feb 2021 #19
I've only ever seen it used by newspaper writers kcr Feb 2021 #27
The New York Daily News cleaves to mid-20th century tabloid nomenclature. musette_sf Feb 2021 #29
History of mental illness? Huh. WhiskeyGrinder Feb 2021 #6
I haven't taken the subway in a while here in Boston, but that has always scared me here as smirkymonkey Feb 2021 #7
Agreed! ProfessorGAC Feb 2021 #16
Only people with less than half a brain stand on the edge of a subway platform Jersey Devil Feb 2021 #17
Why is he on the streets? judesedit Feb 2021 #18
Situational Awareness isn't just for spy movies. displacedtexan Feb 2021 #20
Terrifying. Makes sense that mental illness is behind it most of the time, Hortensis Feb 2021 #23
Reminds me of the "Mad Bomber" in the 50s. kskiska Feb 2021 #24
If I'm on a subway/metro platform in any city anywhere in the world.... marmar Feb 2021 #26

Rorey

(8,441 posts)
1. NYC has no appeal to me
Mon Feb 15, 2021, 07:55 AM
Feb 2021

I sure don't care to ever ride on the subway again.

I've only been to NYC once, a couple of years ago. I know a lot of folks love it, but it's just not for me. I'd love to see a showing of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, but not enough to tolerate going to NYC again.

hlthe2b

(101,285 posts)
9. I've been there many times--typically for professional conferences. If you have $$$ it can be great
Mon Feb 15, 2021, 08:38 AM
Feb 2021

experience to visit. But, without considerable funds, I feel like your options are limited in ways that can put you at increased risk. Ironically, I've traveled by myself throughout much of the Middle East and Asia as part of my work, yet, I feel more vulnerable in some of the largest US cities, including NYC.

Rorey

(8,441 posts)
14. It's the crowds, among other things
Mon Feb 15, 2021, 08:53 AM
Feb 2021

We rode the subway for the experience of it, not because of economics. I'm glad we did it just so I know what it's like and that I don't want to do it again.

In NYC, it's the crowds, the filth, and the lack of public restrooms. I was prepared for the cost, so that didn't bother me. I think it's insulting that one can drop a fortune on lunch, but the establishment doesn't have a public restroom for their patrons. I think it's absolutely disgusting that there aren't public restrooms in Times Square.

I did enjoy the Statue of Liberty a lot. I can't even remember what else we did anymore.

I don't regret going because we always hear about it so much, just as I'm glad I got to experience going to Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle. With both of those places, once is enough. The same goes for some of the attractions in my Colorado. Cave of the Winds? It was fine, but never again will I get on my hands and knees and crawl beneath a mountain. As for Pike's Peak, I could go there every month and love it every time.

shrike3

(3,135 posts)
21. I lived in the northeast over 30 years ago, and spent a lot of time in NYC
Mon Feb 15, 2021, 10:03 AM
Feb 2021

It was great. I could find all kinds of things to do that cost little or no money. Like riding the Staten Island ferry and getting a view of the Statue of Liberty.

About ten years ago I returned for a visit and was disappointed at how much the city had changed.

PJMcK

(21,727 posts)
25. That's too bad
Mon Feb 15, 2021, 07:35 PM
Feb 2021

I've lived in and around New York for 45 years and it still fascinates me. I moved there to go to college and stayed when I started my career. Business opportunities in the city are numerous, diverse and generally well compensating. There are opportunities in almost any endeavor and field. Anyone with ambition and a bit of drive can find opportunities for a successful life.

The diversity is incredible as there are people in NYC from everywhere! They've brought their cultures, languages, arts, clothing, personalities and foods with them making NYC one of the world's great melting pots. The sheer variety of restaurants is a testament to the many cultures represented in the city.

Pre- and hopefully post-pandemic, NY's entertainment choices are nearly endless. The Metropolitan Opera, Broadway, the NY Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, dozens of clubs and venues all provide top-flight entertainment. You mentioned Colbert's show; there are actually dozens of programs (and movies) filmed in NYC, many with live audiences. The museums are fantastic and have collections that people come from all over the world to see and appreciate. The Hayden Planetarium, part of the Museum of Natural History, is world-class and run by Neil deGrasse Tyson. Our sports teams are (usually) very strong and events like the U.S. Tennis Open and the NYC Marathon also draw crowds from around the world.

Because of the OP, I assume your opinion of NYC is a fear of crime. That's understandable. However, crime in NYC has declined precipitously in the decades I've lived there. The freak who shoved people onto the tracks is one person out of 8 million. I suspect you would find an equal or probably higher ratio of crime in nearly any other city in the country. The subways are cleaner than ever and, generally, the service is excellent. Keep in mind, it's one of the largest and oldest mass-transit systems in the world. Consider this: You can ride nearly 50 miles on one swipe of a MetroCard, (roughly $3.00).

NYC's architecture is hundreds of years old and also brand spanking new with spectacular creativity. The history of the city is very rich and dynamic. Because it's a waterfront city, the beaches, boating, fishing, horseback riding and other activities are plentiful. There are championship golf courses, (just stay away from Trump's course in the Bronx!), marinas and parks in all five boroughs. The skyline is spectacular and Times Square is popular and, shall we say, unique.

My wife and I suffer from wanderlust and we've visited many cities and localities around the U.S. and the world. We had travel plans last year and this year that were screwed up by the pandemic. However, our hearts will always be in New York, our home. You might reconsider your view of this city and give it a second chance after the pandemic is under control.

In any event, it took me all day to write this reply so I hope you'll accept it the sincerity I've intended. By the way, where do you live?

Have a good evening.

moonscape

(4,651 posts)
30. I love NYC! Lived there
Mon Feb 15, 2021, 08:16 PM
Feb 2021

in the 70’s when crime was high, but got used to what one could do and not do. Lived on the upper west side, didn’t have much disposable income, but there was so much to do from comcerts in the park to off off broadway plays and experimental theater and museums and oh my. Later I moved to SF area and was amazed how culturally bereft it was for a city. I got so spoiled.

Rorey

(8,441 posts)
31. I love where I live, but many don't share my opinion
Mon Feb 15, 2021, 09:13 PM
Feb 2021

And that's ok. I live in Pueblo, Colorado. Population 110,000. Our reputation isn't great, and some would rather die than live here, but it's a good fit for me. To be honest, I didn't like it here when I first moved here. It was a huge culture shock. But it grew on me and I like the pace and that it's so quiet. I love that within a half hour I can be in the mountains. In an hour and a half I can be in Denver.

The thing is, I just don't like crowds. I think I've gotten worse as I've gotten older. For a couple of decades my life was very hectic and now I'm just enjoying a calm, slow-paced, quiet life.

To be fair, I know I didn't at all get the NYC experience because our visit wasn't long. I don't think it's possible to make a real assessment of anyplace without being there for weeks or longer. I used to know someone who lived in a resort city somewhere in Mexico, and she said that the entire mood of the native population changed when a cruise ship docked. I realized that if I were ever to go to one of those places I'd want to spend a month or so there and get the REAL experience.

I'm very sorry if I gave the impression that I think NYC is a bad place. I don't at all think that.

I didn't feel at all unsafe. It's just such a crowded place and I don't feel comfortable in crowds. Maybe it's my claustrophobia.

I do appreciate your taking the time to post, and it's obvious that you really do love New York. I bet you're an awesome tour guide when friends visit.

One never knows what life might bring. Maybe I'll give it another chance someday. There are a few other places on my list first if we ever get to go anyplace again.

North Shore Chicago

(3,214 posts)
2. One more reason
Mon Feb 15, 2021, 08:02 AM
Feb 2021

to always be aware of your surroundings. Wearing earbuds in a situation like heightens the risk of being messed with, being attacked.

hlthe2b

(101,285 posts)
4. Exactly... One can become a victim anywhere. I only wear "NON-noise cancelling" earbuds
Mon Feb 15, 2021, 08:24 AM
Feb 2021

on low volumes when out and about--AND WITH my dog-- who serves as an early warning for people (or animals) approaching. Otherwise, I don't wear them when out walking.

That said, I'd never stand right beside the tracks. One might not get a seat standing back--which is why so many stand inches from the edge, but they'd have to literally drag you a dozen or more feet to do this if you stand back.

LisaM

(27,712 posts)
11. This!
Mon Feb 15, 2021, 08:45 AM
Feb 2021

Our buses in Seattle used to run in the bus tunnel and I would always stand well over the distance of my height away from the edge. And I would never wear anything in my ears that would cause me not to hear what was going on around me (and this goes back forever, to the days of the Walkman - when I go for a run, I think it's my responsibility to listen for traffic).

Rorey

(8,441 posts)
15. Absolutely
Mon Feb 15, 2021, 08:55 AM
Feb 2021

Heck, now that I live alone I don't even like wearing headphones when I'm listening to sleep meditation. I feel too vulnerable.

shrike3

(3,135 posts)
22. Why I would never wear earbuds while going about my business. And why I rarely look at my phone when
Mon Feb 15, 2021, 10:04 AM
Feb 2021

I'm out. Pay attention to your surroundings.

hlthe2b

(101,285 posts)
5. Given they are shoved WHILE WAITING for the train, why are they calling them "straphangers?"
Mon Feb 15, 2021, 08:27 AM
Feb 2021

I do know what the slang term refers to, but these folks are just those waiting for the train. The term seems unnecessarily derogatory in this disconnected context.

LisaM

(27,712 posts)
12. Straphangers is a common term for bus or subway riders.
Mon Feb 15, 2021, 08:46 AM
Feb 2021

It refers to people who can't get seats on a full car and have to ride standing up and holding on to straps. It's not the least bit derogatory.

hlthe2b

(101,285 posts)
13. As I said, I am well aware of the use of the term for those who stand on the subway. They were
Mon Feb 15, 2021, 08:49 AM
Feb 2021

not even ON the subway, but waiting on the platform. So, yeah, it is an inappropriate use of the term and I do think it was done intentionally and even in a derogatory manner--given the emphasis on these people being "visitors."

kcr

(15,281 posts)
27. I've only ever seen it used by newspaper writers
Mon Feb 15, 2021, 07:45 PM
Feb 2021

It's a fuddy duddy term no one actually uses anymore, if they ever really did.

musette_sf

(10,164 posts)
29. The New York Daily News cleaves to mid-20th century tabloid nomenclature.
Mon Feb 15, 2021, 07:57 PM
Feb 2021

"Straphanger" goes back to the days when there were leather straps for subway standees.

Also, the Mayor of NYC is often referred to as "Hizzoner" in NYDN headlines since as long as I've been alive and it persists today. Someday a woman will be Mayor of NYC and we will see what the NYDN does then.

 

smirkymonkey

(63,221 posts)
7. I haven't taken the subway in a while here in Boston, but that has always scared me here as
Mon Feb 15, 2021, 08:30 AM
Feb 2021

well, and I never stood close to the tracks when I lived in NYC either. There are just too many crazy people out there and you never know, but then again I am not very trusting so I am always very aware of my surroundings in public.

In fact, I don't mind this "lockdown" very much, since I find that I am a lot less anxious than usual, if I were out and about like I normally would be before Covid hit.

ProfessorGAC

(63,827 posts)
16. Agreed!
Mon Feb 15, 2021, 09:00 AM
Feb 2021

I don't know what value is obtained by standing a foot from the platform edge.
The convenience of getting into the car a few seconds sooner does not outweigh the safety improvement of standing back for me.

Jersey Devil

(9,856 posts)
17. Only people with less than half a brain stand on the edge of a subway platform
Mon Feb 15, 2021, 09:00 AM
Feb 2021

Everyone I know has been taught from childhood to stand away from the edge of the platform. Hell, it's easy enough to be accidentally pushed off it during rush hours, never minde someone doing it on purpose.

displacedtexan

(15,694 posts)
20. Situational Awareness isn't just for spy movies.
Mon Feb 15, 2021, 09:59 AM
Feb 2021

We all have to a better job teaching our kids that there are always dangers & dangerous people out there, but paying attention to your surroundings can definitely help to keep them safe.

Hortensis

(58,785 posts)
23. Terrifying. Makes sense that mental illness is behind it most of the time,
Mon Feb 15, 2021, 10:21 AM
Feb 2021

but I am wondering about that young white woman who had to shove Rosa Galeas twice before she fell.
A lot of meanness in the air right now, and of course murder rates have leaped.

kskiska

(27,036 posts)
24. Reminds me of the "Mad Bomber" in the 50s.
Mon Feb 15, 2021, 10:25 AM
Feb 2021

George Metesky, a crazy guy who'd plant pipe bombs under seats at the movies and other places. It took years to catch him.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Metesky

marmar

(76,878 posts)
26. If I'm on a subway/metro platform in any city anywhere in the world....
Mon Feb 15, 2021, 07:39 PM
Feb 2021

.... I never stand close to the tracks until the train has arrived, and keep the radar on.


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