Soft-on-crime policies don’t only stem from progressive district attorneys and leftist mayors, or so one New York City subway shove victim evidently has claimed after she filed a lawsuit against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) alleging they’ve allowed “families and lives to be destroyed…”
In October 2021, Lenny Javier of New Jersey was forcibly pushed into a New York City subway car as the train entered the Times Square station. The victim survived the attack suffering a fractured chin and nose along with multiple fractures to her arm while a suspect, Anthonia Egegbara of Queens, was arrested the following day.
Now, the 43-year-old is taking the MTA and NYC Transit to court, alleging they’ve stood idly by for decades in failing to address the “known problem” of violent, mentally ill individuals posing a threat to riders.
According to the legal filing submitted in Manhattan Federal Court, Javier alleged that the agencies “chose to ignore [their] obligation to the public…and they have turned their back on safety” and continue to “allow families and lives to be destroyed, despite having…available means to eliminate or greatly reduce that danger.”
“I never thought it would happen to me,” she said at the time she was attacked.
As part of the suit, the victim has called upon transit authorities to install barriers and decrease the speeds of trains in the station as several large international cities have done including Hong Kong, Tokyo and London.
Charlton D’souza, head of the passenger advocacy organization Passengers United reacted to Javier’s suit with support and told the New York Post, “There is no safety in New York City transit. I just hope this lawsuit will wake them up.”
According to the suit, more than 100 people are injured each year in NYC’s subways from falling to the track or making contact with trains and NYPD data showed a steady increase in pushing incidents from 2019 through 2022 with there being, 20, 26, 30 and then 29 reported each year, respectively.
“Elected officials don’t care,” D’souza said. “After Michell Go died, promises were made that when they came to her memorial they would fix things. Nothing’s been done. It’s disgraceful. I’m just outraged and appalled.”
Go’s tragic death last January made headlines at the onset of NYC Mayor Eric Adams’s administration as he attempted to claim “New Yorkers are safe on the subway system.”
New ‘tough on crime’ mayor Adams declares NYC subways safe after gruesome murder, it’s only a ‘perception of fear’ https://t.co/JbyW6ENf4i
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) January 17, 2022
Since then, Adams’s actual efforts to combat violence in the subway and the city at large have proven unsuccessful overall while the city seeks contractors to run a pilot program on platform barriers.
Speaking with the Post, Manhattan Institute senior fellow Nicole Gelinas said of proposed barriers, “The standard of service is not really the platform doors, but, what do you allow in your subway system?”
“Should you have the expectation of safety when you’re standing there, after you pay your fare? It would seem that you should,” she remarked.
Meanwhile, MTA spokesman Sean Butler offered in a statement citing some of the measures Adams has taken, “We appreciate the surge of NYPD officers into the subway system as was as the broader ‘Cops, Cameras, Care’ initiative, which has increased the safety of riders and helped those experiencing serious mental health issues get the assistance they need outside the subway system.”
As to Egegbara, after being charged with attempted murder she has been held in a psychiatric facility until it can be determined if she is fit to stand trial, for which the courts had previously ruled no, dropping charges from July 2021 against her after she allegedly beat a subway rider who lost a tooth in the altercation.
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