NYC mayor tells subway users to put their phones and headphones away to avoid crime

The mayor of New York City has recommended subway passengers stop using their phones or headphones while on the increasingly-dangerous transit system, to avoid falling victim to soaring crime.

Transit crime in America’s largest city is up 41 percent year on year, with eight people murdered on the subway so far this year.

By contrast, in 2019 there were only three subway murders; one in 2018; and none in 2017.

Eric Adams, under increasing pressure to take decisive action and make the subway safer, on Friday was asked for his advice.

Adams said that there had been a 47 percent increase in subway arrests.

The Fox 5 news anchor, Bianca Peters, told Adams: ‘I haven’t put my AirPods in for over a year, because I feel like I need to be very much aware.’

Adams replied: ‘Well first, I think that you were right about, you know, not having your iPods in – not focusing on the phone.

‘And I say yes to that. I do the same, and we put out a video and information telling people about being aware of what’s around them and what’s taking place. I encourage New Yorkers to do that.

Eric Adams, the mayor of New York City, appeared on Fox News 5 on Friday and said he encouraged subway users not to listen to headphones or be distracted by their phones

Eric Adams, the mayor of New York City, appeared on Fox News 5 on Friday and said he encouraged subway users not to listen to headphones or be distracted by their phones

The mayor of New York City has warned subway riders not to be distracted by their phones, amid rising crime

The mayor of New York City has warned subway riders not to be distracted by their phones, amid rising crime

Transit crime in New York City is up 41 percent, year on year

Transit crime in New York City is up 41 percent, year on year

In January, Adams said he felt unsafe riding the subway.

On Friday, he said the common denominator in incidents is the mental health crisis on the streets.

‘It’s the combination of ensuring that we deal with the actual violence, but also people must feel safe in the city of New York,’ Adams said.

‘Three point five million people use our subway system every day. We have an average of five felony crimes on the system per day.

‘But you’re seeing all of this disorder, people with mental health issues, people with the shooters you’re reading about.

‘You begin to not only feel unsafe but you’re seeing some of the violence. So that’s why we have to go about it both ways, that’s why we’re moving in both directions.

‘And guns, guns, guns, that’s what’s driving this problem.’

Earlier this week, Queens man Heriberto Quintana, 48, died after falling onto the tracks and being struck by a train in Jackson Heights. 

The fall was the result of an argument and shoving match that ensued when he bumped into Carlos Garcia, 50, on the platform, causing him to drop his cellphone.

Garcia then demanded Quintana go get his phone and when he refused, the two began arguing in Spanish and a shoving fight ensued – causing Quintana to be pushed onto the tracks and into an oncoming train. 

Garcia was arrested on Tuesday and charged with manslaughter. 

Heriberto Quintana died Monday after bumping into a fellow passenger on the platform and knocking his phone onto the train tracks in Jackson Heights, Queens

Heriberto Quintana died Monday after bumping into a fellow passenger on the platform and knocking his phone onto the train tracks in Jackson Heights, Queens

Carlos Garcia, 50, was charged in the death of 48-year-old Heriberto Quintana on Monday after a tussle that led to Quintana falling onto the F train subway tracks and being hit by a train

Carlos Garcia, 50, was charged in the death of 48-year-old Heriberto Quintana on Monday after a tussle that led to Quintana falling onto the F train subway tracks and being hit by a train

The scuffle at the 74th street and Broadway at the Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue station

The scuffle at the 74th street and Broadway at the Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue station

At the end of September, father-of-three Tommy Bailey was slashed in the neck and killed by a homeless man on the L train to Atlantic Ave Station in Brooklyn.

At the time, he was trying to intervene when Alvin Charles started harassing a female NYPD officer.

During an argument between the pair, Charles pulled out a knife and stabbed the 43-year-old steamfitter in the neck.

Police arrested Charles, who had previously faced assault charges for stabbing another man last year. 

He has been walking free ever since being allowed out when a judge denied that he be held on $50,000.

Tommy Bailey, 43, was onboard the L train to Atlantic Ave Station in Brooklyn when he got into an argument with homeless passenger Alvin Charles, who was harassing a cop on September 30. The homeless man pulled out a knife and slashed Bailey in the throat

Tommy Bailey, 43, was onboard the L train to Atlantic Ave Station in Brooklyn when he got into an argument with homeless passenger Alvin Charles, who was harassing a cop on September 30. The homeless man pulled out a knife and slashed Bailey in the throat 

Homeless man Alvin Charles (center) was arrested and charged with Bailey's murder

Homeless man Alvin Charles (center) was arrested and charged with Bailey’s murder

Bailey’s death is just one of a string of senseless murders on the subway – three of which have occurred in the first three weeks of October.

Last week, 15-year-old Jayjon Burnett was shot dead by a known gang member on a Far Rockaway A train just days before his 16th birthday.

Keyondre Russell, 18, was charged for Burnett’s murder in second degree and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

Assistant District Attorney Christine Occhiogrosso called the murder a ‘gang related incident.’

Charles Moore, 38, and a father, was stabbed in the back and chest after leaving a northbound four train in the Bronx at 10.30pm on October 6. 

Saquan Lemons, 27, was arrested for allegedly stabbing Moore. The attack was random and unprovoked, according to police.

Jayjon Burnett, 15, was killed on October 14

Keyondre Russell, 18, was arrested for shooting Burnett

Jayjon Burnett (left) was allegedly shot by Keyondre Russell, 18, (right) days before his 16th birthday on October 14. The shooting occurred after a dispute with two groups on a Far Rockaway A train in NYC

Marcus Bethea, 24, was shot and killed at the Jamaica Center subway station in April while working as a subway card swiper

Marcus Bethea, 24, was shot and killed at the Jamaica Center subway station in April while working as a subway card swiper

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Daniel Enriquez, 48, was riding on the Q train that was heading over the Manhattan Bridge, when a gunman opened fire without warning on May 22 

Pictured: Michelle Go, 49. She was killed on January 15

Michelle Alyssa Go, 49, was killed on January 15 when she was shoved onto the subway tracks on the southbound by Simon Martial 

Marcus Bethea, 24, was shot and killed at the Jamaica Center subway station in April while working as a subway card swiper.

Daniel Enriquez, 48, was riding on the Q train that was heading over the Manhattan Bridge, when a gunman opened fire without warning on May 22.

The Goldman Sachs employee never took the subway, his partner Adam Pollack told DailyMail.com at the time. But an Uber to and from Williamsburg would have cost him $80. Andrew Abdullah, 25, was arrested in that attack.

Another subway brawl located at the 137 street – City College train station – on June 9 left a 14-year-old dead from a stab wound to his stomach. Police recovered a knife and broomstick thought to have been involved in the crime.

Michelle Alyssa Go, 49, was killed on January 15 when she was shoved onto the subway tracks on the southbound N/Q/R/W platform at West 42nd Street and Broadway at around 9.40am in an unprovoked attack.

Simon Martial, 61, was arrested and charged with Go’s death a day later. He was sent to a psychiatric facility after prosecutors declined to challenge a mental evaluation that found him unfit to stand trial.

On New Year’s Day, Roland Huston was killed after jumping onto the tracks to rescue a man who’d been attacked by a group of knife-wielding thugs. Two boys, 16 and 17, were arrested for murder and gang assault weeks later.

On New Year's Day, Roland Huston was killed after jumping onto the tracks to rescue a man who'd been attacked by a group of teenagers

On New Year’s Day, Roland Huston was killed after jumping onto the tracks to rescue a man who’d been attacked by a group of teenagers

Miguel Ramirez (left), 35, was arrested for an unprovoked subway attack in the Bronx

Miguel Ramirez (left), 35, was arrested for an unprovoked subway attack in the Bronx

German Sabio, 26, was shoved by Ramirez into the path of a northbound 6 train at the East 149th Street Station on Saturday

German Sabio, 26, was shoved by Ramirez into the path of a northbound 6 train at the East 149th Street Station on Saturday

Miguel Ramirez was frogmarched out a police station and into a police car Monday, days after stalking and shoving German Sabio, 26, into the path of a northbound 6 train at the East 149th Street Station on Saturday morning.

The terrifying clip of the attack shows the suspect – who cops say is Ramirez – appear wild-eyed and unhinged moments before the shove took place.

Charges are pending against Ramirez while Sabio, who was rescued by good Samaritans, suffered leg injuries.

‘Wow, all I can say to be honest is to give thanks to God, so that way this guy cannot do it again to somebody else,’ Sabio told NBC.

‘I have to take the train when I go to work and I still remember it in my memory, that feeling, that sensation. So, knowing this guy got arrested, I feel a little more easy.’

The terrifying clip of the attack shows the suspect - who cops say is Ramirez - appear wild-eyed and unhinged moments before the shove took place.

The terrifying clip of the attack shows the suspect – who cops say is Ramirez – appear wild-eyed and unhinged moments before the shove took place.

District Attorney Alvin Bragg previously pledged to crackdown on subway crime with the introduction of a designated, train task force. However, the impacts of those are unclear. 

Recent data shows subway murders have risen to their highest in 25 years, despite plummeting ridership. 

Between 1997 and 2020, there were never more than five murders a year on New York City subway trains. 

That number rose to six in 2020, eight in 2021 and it’s already at eight with two-and-half months left of the year.

Felony crime on the subway is up by 42 percent, but ridership has almost halved.

Murders in the city are down by 14.8 percent with 341 reported in 2023 to date in comparison to 400 last year. 

Overall crime in the city is up 31.1 percent with felony assaults and robbery rates remaining high. 

Upon his election, Adams vowed to crackdown on subway crime with the introduction of a designated train task force. 

The group has not yet made a dent in the worsening crime issue.

In January, Adams also introduced his ‘subway safety plan,’ which put more than 1,000 extra cops per day in the city’s subways.

After 10-and-a-half months of the initiative, crime in the city’s underground transportation tunnels remains upwards of 40 percent higher than the same period in 2021.  

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