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More than 1,000 people who tried to skip out on paying to ride the New York City subway reportedly had active arrest warrants for other crimes, including one man who was accused of murder.
Police were already looking to arrest about 1,136 of the 2,502 New Yorkers arrested for subway fare beating this year according to NYPD data reviewed by the New York Post.
That amounts to about 45% of all fare beaters.
Some fare beaters had arrest warrants out for weapon possession, felony assault, and drugs, NYPD Transit Chief Michael Kemper told the MTA Board on Monday.
More than 200 were caught with deadly weapons — including 13 guns and over 200 knives, Kemper said.
Last month, two men who were wanted for subway stabbings were apprehended within 24 hours of each other when they tried to skip the fare for New York City public transit, one for the subway and one for the bus.
Claude White, 33, a homeless man, was arrested and charged with murder and weapons charges after he was spotted fare beating in a Harlem subway station wearing blood-stained pants.
Police had already been searching for White, who is accused of fatally stabbing another man in the chest on a Manhattan subway train in June over a drug dispute. White was on parole and was also wanted in connection with a bank robbery that occurred on June 6.
The same four NYPD officers who caught White also apprehended Kemal Rideout, 28, a suspected serial subway slasher, after the cops saw him eating a bag of chips after he got kicked off an MTA bus for fare evasion and recognized him from a wanted poster.
Rideout allegedly went on a stabbing spree on June 19, stabbing three random women at two different subway stations. Rideout had previously been arrested for attempted rape, assault, criminal mischief, and forcible touching, and has a history of mental illness, authorities said.
Kemper, the NYPD transit chief, said at a press conference on the two high-profile arrests that the police department had sent more than 1,000 more officers to patrol the subway system since the fall.
Since then, subway crime has decreased by 6%, and the number of subway victims has fallen 66% since last year, Kemper said.
Meanwhile, arrests for subway crime have increased by 52%, and fare evasion arrests have increased by 143%, Kemper said.
New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has invested heavily in more surveillance cameras in subway stations and even inside subway cars over the last few years.
The MTA has also begun using artificial intelligence to track fare beaters at seven subway stations in the city, and it plans to expand the technology to two dozen more stations this year, according to the agency’s May report.
The MTA lost $690 million to fare evasion in 2022, the agency estimated.
Overall, crime in New York City has remained about the same year over year as of May, with violent crime, which spiked during the pandemic, mostly down, including homicides and shootings.
However, car thefts have spiked 33% to 1,369 car thefts this year.
Meanwhile, though, the city has struggled to address a homelessness and drug addiction crisis.