New York City police officers arrested a 28-year-old man who allegedly violently slashed three women on their legs at two separate subway stations over the weekend, New York Police Department’s Chief of Transit Michael Kemper announced at a press conference Tuesday.

After launching a manhunt for the man’s identity, police identified Kemal Rideout with the help of video taken by a MTA camera in the subway station. Several officers found the same man in the video walking down an upward Manhattan street, apprehended him, took him into custody and charged him with three counts of assault in the first degree, Kemper said.

The slashings occurred at a platform and on a train. The man allegedly deeply cut the legs of two victims, a 48-year-old and a 19-year-old woman, while they were waiting for their train on the East 86th Street and Lexington Avenue subway station around 4:20 p.m. on Sunday, Kemper said.

“I just felt like a slice. I grabbed my thigh and I looked back and he was there. And I had the blood, and the blood was dripping everywhere,” the 19-year-old victim told NBC New York. Rideout allegedly stabbed a third victim, a 28-year-old woman, on a train at the Chambers Street station in lower Manhattan before running from the scene.

MTA CEO: ‘Nobody should feel afraid’

During Tuesday’s news conference, Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chief Executive Officer Janno Lieber called the attack and other recent violence in the subway “unnerving” and “unacceptable.”

He said his agency is prioritizing rider safety and cameras across the subway system have helped police identify several criminals. NYPD has deployed 1,000 more officers across the subway system compared to last fall, and increased their presence following the crime over the weekend, he said.

“Nobody should feel afraid when going about their business in New York,” Lieber said. “As I always say, for New Yorkers, transit is like air and water. We need it to survive. It needs to be safe. And it needs to feel safe.”

Are NYC subway trains safe?

Crime levels across the New York City subway system have dropped since fall 2022 and pre-pandemic levels, Lieber said.

Over the weekend, another violent attack occurred on a train at Union Square in Manhattan, leaving a 32-year-old man dead from fatal stab wounds. Kemper said they found the man “in a semi-conscious state” bleeding from his chest before he was taken to a hospital and declared dead shortly after his arrival. He said the death was deemed a homicide as a result of “puncture wounds to his chest.”

Claude White, 33, was identified in a video of the crime after he “entered the subway system without paying,” Kemper said. He was charged with murder after he confessed to the stabbing.

“If you commit a crime or attack our riders on the MTA system, you’re going to be caught on camera,” Lieber said, “And these guys at the NYPD are going to find you and put you in prison.”

Contact Kayla Jimenez at kjimenez@usatoday.com. Follow her on Twitter at @kaylajjimenez.


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