Questions raised when victims claim MTA cameras failed during two other horrific crimes

Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) cameras didn’t just fail officers in pursuit of the Brooklyn subway shooter, two victims of horrendous subway violence say the cameras weren’t working during their attacks, either.

Malfunctioning MTA cameras reportedly slowed down NYPD efforts to locate alleged Brooklyn subway shooter Frank James, and according to the New York Post, the MTA has dragged its feet in providing a full accounting of its surveillance system to city council members.

NYC’s system is meant to furnish the NYPD with live feeds from 5,100 cameras, while another 5,000 cameras are supposed to be recording events, but Chris Anguisaca, who was nearly killed on Valentine’s Day by a crazed subway rider, says police told him the MTA cameras don’t work north of 190th Street.

Anguisaca, 19, left his job at a New Jersey Amazon fulfillment center on the morning of Feb. 14 and was headed home to Upper Manhattan when a man approached him while a friend hurled racial slurs and insults. A fight between the three broke out, and Anguisaca was punched in the face by the assailant, who then produced “half a scissor” and attacked the teenager.

“At first he tried to, like, put it in my throat,” Anguisaca recalled. “He tried to kill me.”

Anguisaca was left blinded in one eye, and the perpetrator allegedly got away when the train reached the 203rd Street station. NYPD acknowledged that the investigation was still ongoing, but declined to comment on the state of the subway cameras in Anguisaca’s case.

“This is crazy,” Anguisaca stated following the Brooklyn subway shooting. “There should be cameras, especially in the train station.


Cameras failed former City Council candidate and disability activist Rebecca Lamorte, 30, not once, but twice.

Following two separate assaults, said Lamorte, authorities told her the MTA cameras were not in service.

The first incident took place in 2013 when Lamorte said she was exiting the 6 train at 51st Street when she was pushed by a woman.

“I thought I was putting my left leg on the platform and it was the gap, actually, between the train and the platform,” Lamorte told The Post. “My leg went in, it was crushed between the train and the platform. To this day, she says, she experiences daily pain and must use a cane to walk, as the nerves in her left leg are now “completely ruined.”

“I wanted camera footage,” Lamorte said. “I was told that the cameras don’t work there. They’re either broken or there’s no tape in them to record anything.”

“I want to know what happened to me,” Lamorte continued. “My life is forever shaped from this moment.”

In 2015, while sporting crutches and a brace on a 4/5 downtown train, Lamorte says “a man chose to masturbate on me.”

Lamorte figured she may have been seen as an easy target, but once again, nothing was caught on camera.

“I went to the transit police. … I asked for cameras. I was told again, ‘Oh no, there are no cameras,” Lamorte said. “The office didn’t even have to look into it.”

“Our tax dollars paid to put cameras there, but they’re not being used,” Lamorte stated.

An audit of the system in 2019 by state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli discovered that the New York City Transit division failed to perform required preventative maintenance on its system and failed to fix issues that were recognized in a timely manner.

In a statement, DiNapoli pointed to this week’s camera system failure in Brooklyn and said that “much-needed time was lost.”

“The MTA has work to do to ensure riders feel safe,” DiNapoli said. “At a minimum, that means making sure existing security measures are working.”

“New Yorkers are resilient and will persevere,” he continued, “but they deserve peace of mind that comes from a transit system that puts their safety first.”

Melissa Fine


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