A disturbing viral video posted on Twitter last week shows a New York City subway passenger shouting obscenities, kicking a window, and grabbing a woman’s hair as onlookers made no move to help her.
The passenger — dressed in a poorly-fitted white hoodie — is shown storming throughout the subway car as other riders attempted to avoid him or her. The passenger abruptly sat down next to a woman; when she tried to get up and leave, the passenger grabbed her hair and yanked her back into her seat.
“Somebody help me,” mouthed the distressed woman. None of the other riders responded.
Just another day in new york city safest subway system, where innocent people are being harassed and assaulted.
But the mayor wants you to ride the subway instead of driving, to save the environment. pic.twitter.com/9FfVzfzLoC
— Joel Fischer 🇺🇸 (@realJoelFischer) May 25, 2022
A few moments later, the passenger — continuing to tug her hair — stood, yelled “Get up,” and forced the woman to her feet, shoving her to the other end of the subway car. The passenger then stormed off, shouting “Shut the f*** up!”
The rider recording the video then turned the camera toward himself. “This is what I deal with,” he said. “NYC demons, you understand?” Meanwhile, the disturbed passenger yelled and began kicking a subway car window as other riders continued to give him or her a wide berth.
It is unclear when the video was originally taken. However, a spokesperson for the NYPD told the New York Post that “there are no reports on file regarding the video.”
Twitter commenters blasted the woman’s fellow passengers — including the several men on the subway car — for failing to protect her.
“I find this shocking, honestly,” columnist Karol Markowicz said. “Even in the bad old 80s and 90s, someone would have helped. How could no one help her? What happened to New Yorkers?”
The New York City incident resembles an assault that occurred last year on a Philadelphia train, in which a homeless man allegedly harassed a woman for 40 minutes and raped her while fellow passengers reportedly recorded the scene on their phones.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat, admitted earlier this year that he does not feel safe taking the subway. “On day one, I took the subway system, I felt unsafe. I saw homeless everywhere,” he recounted. “People were yelling on the trains. There was a feeling of disorder. So as we deal with the crime problem, we also have to deal with the fact people feel unsafe.”
In New York City, monthly felony assaults had risen year-over-year by 15% at the end of 2021, while murder had increased by 42% over a two-year period. Bank of America told its New York City employees to “dress down” during their commutes to diminish the risk of assault.
Last month, a suspect injured 23 people in a domestic terrorist attack on a subway train — prompting New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul to call for an end to the “surge in crime.”
“We say no more. No more mass shootings. No more disrupting lives. No more creating heartbreak for people just trying to live their lives as normal New Yorkers,” she said. “And we are sick and tired of reading headlines about crime, whether they’re mass shootings, or the loss of a teenage girl, or a 13-year-old. It has to stop.”