‘Fighting for her life’: NYC woman shoved into subway train, search for suspect underway

‘Fighting for her life’: NYC woman shoved into subway train, search for suspect underway

The woman was standing at the platform when she was pushed by a suspect identified as Sabir Jones.

Saman Shafiq

A 30-year-old woman is in critical condition after a man pushed her into a moving subway train, the New York Police Department has said.

NYPD officers responded to a 911 call on Wednesday at noon at the East 53 Street and 5 Avenue subway station at the southbound “E” train platform, according to a police report. When officers arrived at the scene, they observed a 30-year-old woman with trauma to the head. Upon investigation, it was noted that the woman was pushed into a moving train that was departing from the station.

EMS administered medical aid to the woman and transported her to the Weill Cornell Medical Center in critical condition, said the police.

Meanwhile, the suspect fled the location on foot, exiting the turnstiles at West 53 Street and 5 Avenue, police said.

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Suspect identified

In a press conference, NYPD Chief of Transit Michael Kemper said that the woman, whose identity has not yet been revealed, was standing on the platform when the man shoved her onto the moving train in an attack that was described as random.

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“Fortunately, there were eyewitnesses and Good Samaritans that were on that platform that helped her back off the roaded [tracks] and onto the platform,” said Kemper, adding that detectives are working with the eyewitnesses to investigate the attack.

The police chief said that a suspect, 39-year-old Sabir Jones, was identified using surveillance footage from video cameras installed at the station and that he was known to the department, though no arrests were made.

Police have released this video hoping to get the public’s help in finding Jones.

playNYPD releases footage of subway assault suspectA woman is in critical condition after she was shoved into a subway train by a man. Authorities say the suspect has been identified as Sabir Jones.New York Police Department

The police are requesting anyone with information to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).

Tips can also be submitted online by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or via X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Mental illness: a potential factor in attack

While the police did not share further details on the suspect, the New York Times reported that Jones has a history of homelessness, mental illness and drug abuse.

MTA Chair Janno Lieber also stated that the attack appeared to have been done by a person who was struggling with mental health issues.

“I’m not a mental health professional, but I’m sure that that the people who are, have to figure out how to get these people out of the public space and into treatment so that they get in better condition for themselves and more important for New Yorkers who are just trying to live their lives,” said Lieber. “We feel for them, but we need for them to get in treatment and out of the public space.”

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Lieber said that his department has made “tremendous progress on subway crime,” bringing it down 9% from where it was before COVID “but that’s no consolation to the family of this young woman, who is fighting for her life in the hospital.”

“New Yorkers are put up with alot. What they can’t put up with is people randomly coming up to them, which appears to be the case here, and attacking them,” said Lieber.

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Another tragic subway incident in New York this week

In a separate incident, an 18-year-old was found dead on the tracks on a subway station in Queens on Tuesday.

She has been identified by officials as Jessica Marleny Ajtzac Guarcas of Queens.

Authorities responded to a 911 call on Tuesday at around 6:30 a.m. at the Roosevelt Avenue and Broadway subway station, stated a police report.

Officers arrived to find the teenager unconscious and unresponsive with trauma about the body on the tracks. EMS responded and pronounced her deceased at the scene.

ABCNews6 reported that she collapsed on the platform as a train was approaching. The operator of the incoming train saw her fall and pulled the emergency brakes but was unable to stop in time, authorities told the media outlet.

Police say that an investigation is ongoing and a medical examiner will determine the cause of death.

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Saman Shafiq is a trending news reporter for USA TODAY. Reach her at [email protected] and follow her on X, formerly Twitter, @saman_shafiq7.

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