Authorities lay charges in two New York subway incidents



CNN

Two men accused of attacking people on a New York subway platform are facing charges, authorities said Tuesday.

The incidents happened on Friday and Sunday and are the latest in a string of high-profile violent incidents in recent months, including those on the subway system, that have prompted city officials to improve their crime-fighting strategies.

A Brooklyn man was arraigned late Monday on charges of assault and reckless endangerment after punching Denisse Moreno, 62, in the head on Sunday, causing him to fall to the tracks and sustain injuries at a Bronx subway station. , said a spokeswoman for the Bronx District Attorney’s office.

Deshaun Smith, 21, faces a total of six charges — two counts of reckless endangerment, two counts of assault, attempted assault and harassment, according to a criminal complaint. Smith’s bail is set at $20,000, Moreno said.

Smith allegedly hit the 62-year-old man on the right side of the face around 9:45 p.m. Sunday, the complaint states. The victim told police he then felt two hands on his back pushing him forward to fall onto the train tracks.

Smith told officers he was only defending himself after the 62-year-old allegedly said something inappropriate, the complaint states.

It is unclear if Smith has entered a plea. CNN did not immediately receive a comment from Smith’s attorney, Porsha Shaf’on Venable.

Responding officers helped the victim back onto the platform, and Smith was later arrested without incident, police said. The victim suffered severe pain and soreness on the right side of his face and lower back, bruises on both wrists and bleeding cuts and sores on both knees, according to the complaint.

Moreno expects Smith to appear again on October 28.

In Queens County, a man who allegedly pushed a victim onto subway tracks Friday afternoon has been charged with attempted murder and other charges, the district attorney’s office said.

Lamale McRae was arraigned Monday night on charges of attempted murder, assault with intent to cause bodily injury, acting in a manner likely to injure a child and assault with intent to injure with a weapon, according to court records.

It is unclear whether McRae entered a plea at the hearing. CNN has reached out to an attorney representing it for comment.

“As expected, this defendant suddenly confronted a subway driver onto the railroad tracks and ran over a young boy,” District Attorney Melinda Katz said in a news release. “This defendant is charged with attempted murder and other charges in connection with this shocking incident.

“Every New Yorker deserves to know that they can travel safely to work, to school, and to this city. We will not give up that sense of safety in Queens. We will not give up our streets to fear.”

The victim was not hit by a train, but suffered a broken collarbone, a sprained shoulder, multiple cuts and scrapes, according to the DA’s office.

The police released the security images of the incident.

McRae is expected back in court on Nov. 14, according to court records.

As of Oct. 17, crime in the city’s subway system is up more than 41 percent this year with 1,813 incidents, compared to 1,282 in the same period last year, according to New York Police Department statistics. There have been nine homicides in the city’s subway system this year, officials said, and 40 percent of those responsible for the homicides had mental health issues.

The latest incident comes as New York state and city officials are ramping up efforts to combat crime and mental illness in the New York City subway system, with an increased police presence and new training for officers to deal with the homeless.

The new initiatives will include a significant investment from the state’s public emergency fund to add 1,200 additional overtime officer shifts on subway platforms and trains each day. However, the officials did not say how much money the municipality will receive as part of the investment.

Janno Lieber, president and CEO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, told CNN affiliate NY1 that he is confident in the three-point safety plan.

“We’re going to start addressing a problem that New Yorkers understand, which is that we have too many people struggling with serious mental illness in the public space of the subway. New Yorkers are compassionate. They feel for these people, but they can also be fearful,” Lieber said.

The transit authority will also hire unarmed security guards to increase the security presence at turnstiles and prevent fare evasion, Gov. Kathy Hochul said at a news conference Saturday.

Transit cops will be deployed at four major commuter rail hubs, including Penn Station, Grand Central Station, Atlantic Terminal and Sutphin-Archer (Jamaica) Station, which will free up about 100 NYPD officers to deploy to other transit locations, according to one. joint news

In September, Hochul announced an initiative to install two cameras in every subway car by 2024 to strengthen security coverage. The municipality has already installed more than 200 cameras throughout the system and will install 100 more cameras in the coming days, the governor said.