Another Random Slashing, and Now a Screwdriver Attack, in New York City

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Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

The spate of slashings in New York City continues. Early Thursday morning, a cabbie in Williamsburg was sliced on his forehead by a passenger exiting his taxi. The driver, Mustafa Kadro, had picked up three people who apparently didn’t have the money to cover the full fare, but Kadros says he offered to drop them off at their destination — North 5th Street and Wythe Avenue — anyway. As two of the passengers got out at the intersection, the middle rider reached his arm through the partition and attacked the driver.

All of a sudden, one of them managed to put his hand and slashed my forehead,” he told CBS 2. “I put the car in drive and run away because I don’t want them to run after me or whatever, so then I called police.” 

All three young men — one teenager, two in their early 20s — have since been arrested; police say the trio had allegedly put another man in a chokehold and stolen his cell phone after injuring the taxi driver. Kadro declined to see a doctor and ended up finishing his shift that night.

Another dispute near Lincoln Center in Manhattan left a guy with two puncture wounds to his head from a screwdriver. This was not a random attack but rather a domestic dispute: A couple had apparently been arguing (possibly trying to put together an Ikea dresser?) when one man attacked his boyfriend with the tool. The victim is said to be in stable condition, and as of this morning no charges had been filed against his partner. 

Police also said they’re looking for the two men who committed a stabbing on a Bronx subway platform in February. The victim apparently had been in an argument with his two attackers while waiting at the 149th Street station when the two men pounced and stuck something sharp into his abdomen. They victim didn’t suffer life-threatening injuries, and the two men fled on foot.

Mayor de Blasio and NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton have tried to assure the public that the stabbings and slashings are an anomaly and that violent crime is down overall. Yet, on Wednesday, the mayor and the city’s top cop announced a new plan to have an NYPD police officer patrol every subway train at night to help prevent — and assuage the public’s fears over — the underground attacks. According to the Post, about 60 cops will be reassigned to this transit duty as early as next week. Officers will board each train and check the cars one-by-one overnight and in the early morning hours. Cops will work in teams of up to eight, along with one sergeant, and they’ll be posted on the platforms. When a train comes into a station, the conductor will announce police activity, and the cops will board the train and look around. Once police give the all-clear, the train will move ahead. 

NYPD transit chief Joseph Fox said the delays would be insignificant: This will be a quick spot check, unless something is amiss. The patrols won’t take place at rush hour, but late at night, when the train will probably be creeping along anyway. Cops on duty in areas that have above-ground stations will also have to check out those platforms on their regular patrols, reports CBS 2.  “We’ve had this spate of slashings. We take it very seriously. There is not a pattern,” de Blasio said. “But we still have to go after each and every one.”