‘Guardian Angels’ Return to Subway for the First Time Since 1994
News| | By Margo Gothelf
New York City saw its sixth and seventh subway slashings in less than a month this week, prompting a group of good samaritans to jump into action.
The Guardian Angels, a team of 12 volunteers who wear red berets, have not been active since 1994. The group will take precaution by setting up regular night-and-day shifts, aiming to keep the subway safe. The team of volunteers will take two shifts, one running from mid-afternoon to 7 a.m., and the second running from the morning until the afternoon.
“Riders are coming up and asking us: ‘Please, you’ve got to come back in force,’” Curtis Sliwa, group founder, shared with The Post. “I think it’s become obvious that the police need help, the MTA needs help. They can’t handle it.”
Two men were attacked on Sunday in Manhattan prompting the Guardian Angels to begin their patrol Monday morning in the Columbus Circle Subway Station.
“We made a commitment, we reupped our patrols on the subways both during the day and at night because of this incredible number of slashings that’s been taking place,” Sliwa shared with ABC. “You know a police officer would start in the back, he’d go car to car check on everyone. I haven’t seen that in a month of Sundays and I think that’s contributed to the rise of crime in the subways,” Sliwa said.
A 31-year-old man was slashed at the 110th Street Station after getting into an augment with a friend, using the slashing as retaliation. A 21-year-old was also slashed across the face and on his right hand during an attempted robbery at the 155th Street Station and St. Nicholas Subway Station.
“It’s been happening a lot lately downtown and in other boroughs as well too,” Joel Lovera, a straphanger, told ABC.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton spoke out explaining he’s not surprised residents are nervous about the recent slashings.
“New Yorkers have a right to be alarmed or concerned, particularly those riding the subways,” he said.
Hopefully the Guardian Angels will be help stop the slashings.
“Their role is ‘See something, say something’.” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said. “They are not expected to engage, they don’t have any powers, nothing new.”