New York City residents are breathing a sigh of relief this morning after the NYPD finally apprehended an individual who had been on a spree of violence and mayhem over the course of Friday and Saturday. Dubbed “the A-Train Ripper,” this lunatic carried out at least four separate knife attacks inside the subway, leaving two homeless people dead and two others requiring hospitalization. When the cops brought him in, his shoes and pants were still covered in his victims’ blood and he had the knife believed to have been used in the attacks in his possession. The location of these attacks makes the story of particular interest for reasons we’ll get to in a moment. (NY Post)

The “A-train Ripper” is in custody, multiple law enforcement sources told The Post on Saturday night.

The knife-wielding madman was wanted in a gruesome subway spree that left two homeless people dead and two others slashed along the A train line, and was nabbed in Upper Manhattan, the sources said.

His shoes were still splattered with his victims’ blood when he was taken into custody — and he was still in possession of the bloody knife, one source added.

Equally interesting was the public response to the carnage. Obviously, people were frightened and upset, but the public was demanding answers to one question. Where were the police? Why aren’t there more police?

The outcry for more cops on city subways reached a fever pitch Saturday in the wake of a killer’s rampage on the A line. And the NYPD appeared to be listening, announcing at least 500 more officers would be on patrol underground by Monday…

Shaken straphangers at the A train’s Far Rockaway Mott Avenue station called for stepped-up security, including increased patrols and even metal detectors.

One witness who rides the A-Train every day for work said that there are never any cops around in the later hours. You see some between 8 in the morning and 5 pm, but not at night. And that’s when most of the stabbing attacks took place.

But let’s get back to the question that the public is screaming at the top of their lungs. Where were all the cops? Police Commissioner Dermot Shea came out yesterday and announced a “surge” of 500 more cops being sent to the subways “immediately.” Some were even being pulled off of desk duty to bolster the ranks. It’s a good start, but it still doesn’t explain how we arrived at this crisis.

Allow me to take you on a brief trip in the Way Back Machine to June of last year. That’s when all of the calls to either defund or abolish the police were ringing across the city from Black Lives Matter activists. And Mayor Bill de Blasio was listening to them. One group called Communities United for Police Reform (CUPR) was actively advising the Mayor as he looked at slashing the NYPD budget to satisfy his liberal base.

CUPR had a list of demands that they wanted to see the Mayor enact. While not all of them were fully implemented, they proposed more than a billion dollars in cuts to the NYPD budget, broken down into five key areas of “concern.”

  • $397 million – Cut overtime, public relations and surveillance technology use, and cap uniformed officers to budgeted amount.
  • $287 million – Fire abusive officers, cut modified duty and deduct settlement payouts from the operating budget as a punitive measure.
  • $263 million – Freeze new hires, cancel new cadet classes and cancel cadet training program.
  • $219 million – Reduce uniformed officers by about 5 percent, to 2014 levels.
  • $96 million – Remove officers from schools, transit systems, homeless outreach and mental health response programs.

Did you notice that last item highlighted in bold? Here’s a quote from a CUPR spokesperson given at that time. “We do not need more police in the trains, we need improved train service and affordable public transit.”

This is one of the same groups demanding that all MTA officers be pulled out of the subways and replaced by “crisis intervention counselors.” The number of cops in the subways began shrinking immediately. We never saw the crisis intervention teams armed with clipboards fully installed, but what do you suppose somebody with a clipboard was going to do when the A-Train Ripper showed up? Reason with him?

So now the public has finally had its “awareness raised” when it comes to defunding the police and pulling them out of the subways. All it took was the A-Train Ripper and a trail of bodies. Will the Mayor and his Police Commissioner finally listen to the residents of the city and put an end to all of the police defunding and abolishment nonsense? There are real monsters out there lurking in the dark. Kind words and good intentions are not enough to deal with them. Without a sufficient police presence in a city of that size, Escape From New York will begin looking like a documentary rather than an action flick.