After four more windows were shattered on the 7 train last night, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is putting up a $10,000 reward for whoever can identify the subway “sociopath” who has cost the agency up to $300,000 in recent weeks.
MTA Chair Pat Foye said that despite the dire financial situation facing the agency due to COVID-19 and a mounting deficit, the $10,000 they are putting up alongside $2,500 from Crime Stoppers is a worthwhile investment considering the damages accrued.
“I want to call upon our criminal justice partners in the city’s District Attorney offices to prosecute this person and others who are damaging subway or bus property to the fullest extent of the law,” Foye said. “Trains have been taken out of service, hundreds of thousands of customers have been disrupted and clearly offering a reward for the arrest and indictment of a person who has cost $300,000 in damage and increasingly scores of incident is clearly money well-spent.”
According to Foye, the MTA plans to bring civil litigation against the culprit in order to get some of the money lost due to the damages caused by up to 70 incidents taking place since May.
“There had to have been some witnesses to this vandalism that has occurred over the last couple of months, so we’re calling on the public to pick up their phones and call Crime Stoppers,” NYPD Chief of Transit Edward Delatorre said.
With a $16 billion deficit expected by 2024 due to ridership loss, among other things, due to COVID-19, the MTA has spent recent months lobbying Washington D.C. lawmakers for a stimulus of $4 billion that will carry them through the rest of 2020 alone.
Governor Andrew Cuomo continued this campaign today, blaming the federal government for “gross negligence” of their duties safeguarding Americans from international health threats and offering few solutions to state and local governments who have been left fighting deficits in just a few short months.
“If this was a private situation, the state could sue the federal government for negligence. Gross negligence. The federal government is responsible for public health and international monitoring of public health,” Cuomo said Monday morning. “You cost New Yorkers lives and you cost New Yorkers billions of dollars and now to add insult to injury, you want to say you’re not going to provide federal funds to help alleviate the damage that you caused? That’s going to be the imposition? It’s reprehensible.”
On Saturday, Chief Safety Officer Pat Warren said the MTA would look for help from the NYPD in a “broken windows” approach to bringing the suspect, or suspects, into custody but did not expand on details.
Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM, or on Twitter @NYPDTips.
All calls are strictly confidential.