Twelfth person pushed on subway tracks, Mayor Adams says he’s dealing with ‘the perception’ of fear

New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) may have set out to combat out of control crime, but after a twelfth person was pushed on the subway tracks Monday, hizzoner seemed more intent on altering “the perception” that riders are feeling.

Returning to a favored talking point abandoned after being faced with the reality of the crime-ridden metropolis, Adams downplayed the average of “six crimes a day” on the subway Monday as “out of control” when factoring in there are millions of riders on the subway.

This tone-deaf statement came as 48-year-old Heriberto Quintana was pushed onto the tracks at the Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Ave. station in Queens where he was fatally struck by the F train, as reported by WABC.

“We’re dealing with actual crimes–those eight homicide–and we’re dealing with the perception of fear that people are feeling,” Adams told the press as he downplayed the danger standing behind a placard that read “Get Stuff Done.”

Quintana’s death came after he bumped into the 50-year-old suspect triggering an altercation that led to the shove. That incident followed a random attack Saturday where a 26-year-old was shoved to the tracks in the path of the oncoming 6 train but had been pulled to safety by others while the suspect fled the scene.

“That’s the combination and I must deal with, that perception and the actual crime,” Adams continued. “We can’t get away from the fact that 3.5 million people using our subway system. We have to be honest about that and those average of six crimes a day is not giving the impression that our system is out of control.”

The mayor had veered from this talking point early in his administration stating instead, “Day one, January 1, when I took the train, I saw the homelessness, the yelling, the screaming early in the morning, crimes right outside the platform. We know we have a job to do…and we’re going to make sure New Yorkers feel safe in our subway system. And they don’t feel that way now. I don’t feel that way when I take the train every day or when I’m moving throughout our transportation system.”

Despite Adams’s talk and the initiation of a “Subway Safety Plan,” (for which the announcement was followed by a violent weekend where six were stabbed), murders throughout the subway system are at their highest in 25 years. Between 1997 and 2019, no more than five murders were recorded per year in the subway while  2020 saw an uptick to six, and in 2021 that number rose to eight, according to the NYPD. Now, with over two months remaining in the year, 2022 has already hit eight murders in the subway, felonies are up 42 percent, and ridership has dropped from roughly 142 million a month in 2019 to about 81 million.

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) , who is challenging unelected incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) in the gubernatorial race, addressed the severity of the dangers facing the city plagued by crime that has been perpetuated through inaction and the soft-on-crime policies of progressive Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and said, “Once again, another New York rider being pushed onto the subway tracks. When you see a story of a 15-year-old who gets shot in recent days; when you read about someone who was fatally stabbed in Forest Heights right outside another subway station–a fourth knife attack in ten hours a week ago Thursday–there’s clearly an issue that everybody in government at every level needs to be focused on and that is to make this experience safer.”

Other reacted to Adams’ apparent denial of the problem with their own pointed remarks.

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