MANHATTAN – A seemingly claustrophobic straphanger with a man-bun went berserk on a packed subway train on the Upper East Side because he didn’t have enough space, NYPD investigators say, pulling a switchblade and threatening to kill a man he followed into train.
“I’m not riding this train pressed up against this door,” shouted the violent menace with a scraggly beard and his hair in a topknot, brandishing his knife in the crowded downtown 6 train just after 3:30 pm Sunday afternoon, police say.
The suspect, who had gotten on the train behind a 35-year-old man at the 77th Street-Lexington Avenue station, taunted that man and other riders, detectives say, repeatedly flicking open and closing the switchblade— putting other subway riders in fear for their lives.
“I’ll take your head off your [expletive] neck,” the knife-wielding suspect told the man who he felt was crowding his personal space.
After menacing the crowded subway on Sunday afternoon, the suspect high-tailed it off the train at the downtown 6 train’s next stop, 68th Street-Hunter College.
Thankfully, no one was hurt in the ordeal.
🚨WANTED for MENACING: 5/22/22 approx. 3:33 PM, ‘6’ train @ E 77 St & Lexington @NYPD19PCT Manhattan. The suspect waved a knife & threatened passengers while on a crowded train car. Any info call us at 800-577-TIPS or use our website https://t.co/TRPPY5zHV2 Reward up to $3,500 pic.twitter.com/6BAqKSN5TM— NYPD Crime Stoppers (@NYPDTips) May 25, 2022
Detectives tracked down surveillance video of the suspect, seen in a white shirt and grey pants with a backpack at the 59th Street-Lexington Avenue station, where the suspect is seen jumping the subway turnstile instead of paying the fare.
A crackdown on turnstyle jumping— or fare evasion, as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority calls it— has become the focal point of the MTA’s plan to fight both underground crime and perceptions the subway is unsafe.
“What we want, all of us, is to deter crime before it happens by keeping the bad actors out of the system in the first place,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber at an event last month.
“Fare evasion enforcement … can discourage criminals from coming into our system to do crime in the first place.”
UPDATE: On Thursday, May 26th, the suspect, identified by police as 26-year-old Aaron Ramos of the Bronx, turned himself into officers at the 19th Precinct station house– located on East 67th Street– and was arrested just before noon and charged with menacing, investigators say.