NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea hit back at Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday over his concerns about subway crime – saying, “I quit listening a long time ago.”
The senior cop, appearing on FOX 5’s “Good Day New York”, was strewn with questions about the recent violence on the rails in light of the unprovoked attack on Gerard Sykes, an MTA driver on leave, on a J train to Crescent Street on Wednesday night.
Two days earlier, Cuomo had pointed the finger at his political enemy and Shea boss, Big Apple mayor Bill de Blasio, for turning the subway into a rolling shelter for the homeless, saying the situation was worse than even during the “dangerous” 1970s.
Cuomo also said last week, “I’m not telling my kid to take the subway because I’m scared for my kid. “
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TV show host Rosanna Scotto brought up Cuomo’s concerns while interviewing Shea.
“What happens when we listen to the governor, you know? ” she said. “The governor says he thinks it’s scary to take the metro, he doesn’t think his kids should take the metro. “
The police commissioner replied, “Well you should do what I’m doing – I stopped listening a long time ago. ”
The assault on off-duty driver Sykes took place around 11:20 p.m. Wednesday, cops said. The unidentified assailant was walking through rail cars when he used an orange box cutter to stab Sykes in the left eye and ear and cut his forehead without warning, police said.
Sykes’s aunt pleaded with Blasio on Thursday to bring more cops to the subway.
“Mr. Mayor, I’m telling you, it’s not safe for the transit worker or the public to take the train, the bus and everything. It’s not fair, ”said Cassandra Sykes.
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Despite the outcry, Shea insisted on Friday that
all metro offenses are down 45% from the same period last year.
“What I could tell you is that an incident like this, you cannot minimize, it is a horrible incident. But we are right now in these types of incidents from last year, ”he said. ” It’s a fact. It is therefore a key element. “
While overall subway crime, including four of the seven most serious categories, is on the decline, criminal assaults have increased, statistics show.
This story first appeared in the New York Post.