Bloomberg on the latest subway push: ‘There are people who are mentally deranged’
Mayor Michael Bloomberg this morning urged New Yorkers not to change their commuting habits in the wake of the second subway pushing in a month.
"I don't think you have to sit there and worry every day about getting pushed over the platform," said Bloomberg, during a press conference at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. "It is such a rare occurrence that no matter how tragic it is, it shouldn't change our lifestyle."
Yesterday, a still-unidentified woman pushed Calcutta-native Sunado Sen off a subway platform in Sunnyside, Queens and into the path of a Flushing-bound 7 train.
Sen is the second person to be pushed onto the subway tracks and killed in the past month.
Earlier this month, another man, Ki Suk Han, was pushed into the path of a Q train at 49th Street.
Last year, according to the AP, 150 people were struck by trains, 50 of them fatally, and most of those suicides.
Today, after presiding over the graduation of 1,159 new police officers and announcing that the city was on track to achieve its lowest murder rate since such rates have been recorded, the mayor and police commissioner Ray Kelly took questions from the press.
A number of them were about the latest subway pusher and whether there was any way to prevent similar tragedies.
The mayor said he suspects there isn't.
"I don't know that there is a ways to prevent," he said. "There's always going to be somebody, a deranged person. You can say it's only two out of the 3 or 4 million people that ride the subway every day, but two is two too many. Unfortunately, there are people who are mentally deranged."
Other major mass transit systems have resorted to installing platform screen doors to prevent subway riders from accessing the tracks, but the M.T.A. has no plans to install them here, even in the new stations on the far west side and along Second Avenue, something the mayor seemed to allude to this afternoon.
"We do live in a world where our subway platforms are open and that's not going to change," he said.
For his part, Kelly said he had no plans to deploy more police officers to subway platforms.
"We think that we are properly deployed in the transit system," said Kelly. "We have five million people a day in that system. It's without a doubt the safest big transit system in the world, and we think our deployments are appropriate given the number of officers that we have. As the mayor said, it's a very difficult thing to totally, totally guard against."
According to Kelly, yesterday's victim was standing near the edge of the platform and peering westbound for the train when he was pushed into its path and killed.