TRIBECA, Manhattan (WABC) — A 41-year-old man has been arrested and charged after a woman was shoved onto subway tracks in Tribeca on Tuesday night.
The suspect, Samuel Junker, was charged with assault.
Junker initially got away, but bystanders got a fairly good look at him, and police released surveillance video of him on Wednesday.
Subway riders came together Tuesday night to help the woman who was shoved onto the subway tracks.
Officials say she was pushed just after 11 p.m. at the Chambers Street station.
Bystanders rushed to save the 34-year-old woman before any oncoming trains approached.
“I was waiting on the subway platform, this one guy on my back, pushed me off the track,” she told Eyewitness News.
With a broken leg and bruises across her body, the victim can barely maneuver into the basement apartment she shares with her husband – both recent immigrants who arrived from China just three months ago, to chase the American dream.
Instead of a train home from work on Tuesday, she wound up in the back of an ambulance.
Authorities say a man came up from behind and pushed her to the track as she waited for a No. 2 train at Chambers Street in Tribeca.
“I’ve seen articles about this before, but I never thought something like this would happen to me,” the victim said.
Fortunately, there was no train entering the station at the time, allowing a group of strangers to help lift her back to the platform – as the assailant fled.
“I would like to say thank you to those guys,” she added. “That’s really a big help.”
The 34-year-old was then taken to New York-Presbyterian Hospital with a minor leg injury.
“Shaken up of course, bruised, scratched. Something has to be done. People are not safe, this is Lower Manhattan, Tribeca. These things should not be happening,” David Wordell, whose wife knows the victim, said.
The attack appears random.
This was at least the third assault in four days underground. Over the weekend, police released video of a man who allegedly stabbed a rider on the No. 6 train platform in Gramercy Park.
And investigators released a photo of another man accused of bashing a subway motorman with a pipe in Upper Manhattan after his C train reached the end of the line in Washington Heights.
The number of felony assaults in the transit system has leveled off. They are largely unchanged so far this year but are 19% higher than just two years ago and 58% higher than four years ago.
According to the Transport Workers Union, assaults against subway workers are on the rise. Felonies and misdemeanors are up 63% so far this year. And spitting incidents are up 39%. It’s a revolting form of assault that’s become more common in recent years, as transit workers have become targets underground.
“We are seeing more police officers in the subway system, which is a good thing,” said the union president. “But we’re also seeing the same people get arrested repeatedly, only to get released and come right back.”
The increase in police officers underground is undeniable, yet many riders continue to feel unsafe and insecure.
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