Woman Foils Would-Be Killer at Borough Hall Station

As reported by Gothamist, the recent rash of subway slashings and other acts of random violence continued locally yesterday evening at about 8:00 on the Manhattan bound 4 and 5 platform at Borough Hall as a man tried to shove a 27 year old woman onto the track in the path of a train. The woman was able to save herself by clinging to a pillar, and the man ran away. When the victim reached the 14th Street-Union Square station, she found a police officer and gave a description of the assailant. Police in Brooklyn were notified, and arrested 46 year old David French at Court and Joralemon streets. French is described as “emotionally disturbed” and has a record of arrests, including one for slapping another subway rider in 1994.

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  • Fed Up!

    Lovely, just lovely. I suppose that Mayor diBlah-blah-blah-sio will try to explain this away as he does every other crime that happens. He is an absolute failure. I remember the bad old days and we are back there.
    Homelessness is at an all time high and this guy obviously lives in the homeless area on Joralemon and Court. Take care in that area. When will the homeless be helped. When will it be cleaned up?
    I also don’t believe that crime is going down, the statistics are going down, being finessed as it were, but the reality is just the opposite. Many crimes are not even being reported. I know what I see. I have live in this neighborhood for three decades and it is getting bad again. Back to the Dinkens era!

  • Fiorello

    Did they really address Bill DeB for this crime? He’s actually responsible? That’s not good…or true…

  • TeddyNYC

    Aggressive panhandlers have been a problem for years and the police presence there has been ineffective.

  • aarrrrrimapirate

    Isn’t there a police hut on that very same platform? Too many times I see officers chillaxin’ in that booth by the stairs and it doesn’t surprise me one bit that the officer there wasn’t paying attention or there wasn’t one stationed at all.

    But I also do admit that I’m appreciative that the suspect was caught in the first place. Props to the victims and the cops involved for communicating the description and taking the whole incident very seriously.

  • Concerned

    Hey everyone! Not to worry!!! There’s been crime in that subway for years. It’s not as bad as it was in the crack infested 80’s, so forget about it. Send your babies, young children, wives with their strollers, grandmas and grandpas to that subway station and make sure they visit the homeless encampment on the way. After all, they’re human beings who have a right to live on the sidewalk and harass everyone who walks by and go on mentally ill rage binges until they throw someone on the tracks…
    And don’t forget to wave hello to the sucker punching groups of 15 year olds on their way from the projects to Joralemon, on the way to BBP to play soccer? No, they’re kayaking. Wait a minute, they must be picnicking in the grass with the rest of the families. No? Whatever are they doing headed down to the park in teams of five wearing high top sneakers?
    Just remember, it’s only fair to treat all these people with respect while they maim and rob innocent bystanders.

  • Concerned

    Oh, and for anyone who calls this a “knee-jerk” reaction, there’s a large group of 2nd amendment nutbags who want their talking points back…

  • Jorale-man

    Crime rates are actually at historical lows right now. It’s just that the tabloid media in this city likes to get people worked up over things.

    That being said, random things do occur and it’s best to stay aware of one’s surroundings in the subways.

  • AEB

    Of course one must protect the rights of all, or none are protected.

    But tell me, Concerned, how this horrible event could have been prevented without deep systematic change that would involve–what? Hauling all those who might be disturbed (by whose lights?) off the streets and detaining them? How? Where?

    Yes, I agree: there should be a greater police presence in subway stations. But even given such an eventuality–what if a cop was on another part of a platform when the trouble occurred?

    Of course I’m not saying that one should just throw up one’s hands in light of crime. But the matter is complicated and authoritarian attitudes don’t help.

  • Concerned

    I’ll be the first to agree that crime is a systemic problem that is very complicated. If you look at my earlier posts, you will see that. There are many issues and injustices that lead to crime. All I’m saying is that we should protect the law abiding community from the products of these issues/injustices. We should have more police presence in the area, especially in the summertime. It may be a band-aid, but I’ll take a band aid over an open and festering wound.
    In regards to this crime, these homeless have been allowed to set up a camp in this area. I am not an expert in the homeless, but I think it is clear that many of these homeless are mentally ill and/or have substance abuse problems and/or traumatic brain injury, etc… all of these conditions can add to irritability and/or violence. I’m not sure what to do with them, but I know they shouldn’t be allowed to set up an encampment in prime downtown Brooklyn/Brooklyn Heights.
    Something needs to be done. Does a woman have to lose her life to wake people up!?!

  • A Neighbor

    As someone who spent many years in law enforcement, I can say that one of the persistent problems that cannot be effectively addressed by courts, etc is criminals with mental illness. They commit crimes, not homicides but often violent ones like this, are sent to jail, serve their time and return to the streets. And the cycle begins again. The fact that they will go to jail again does not deter them — whether because they don’t make the connection or don’t mind a few nights off the streets.

    It’s a difficult and serious problem that was exacerbated when Gov Mario Cuomo closed down most state mental institutions years ago.

  • Andrew Porter

    There’s a police hut at the Manhattan end of the platforms, part of the anti-terrorism program; there are similar huts at High Street and Clark Street. However, they’re frequently unattended.

  • Jeffrey Smith

    REPORTED crime, in certain critical categories, is at “an all time low” but just you go out with ant DVR on you and you’ll see what you very shortly find yourself seeing and recording. Most people are too self absorbed. But just actually look around and you’ll see what’s beginning to snowball.

    The violence is just the latest street game. Largely because unlike a few years ago, there’s no real deturrents.

  • Jeffrey Smith

    What is everybody thinking here?

    First of all, there’s an almost total lack of police today in the subways. Mayor G put them all topside. See, there was a REASON for separate police dept divisions.

    Second Mayor Bloomberg cut the token booths by over 50%!!!

    Third, the bad guys know that the average New Yorker is unarmed and would
    recoil at the suggestion that they even carry mace.

    Fourth, there is now a huge number of mentally I’ll with very significant histories of violent behavior in the city and a far greater population of chemically dependent or damaged from past use population in the city.

    These incidents are growing FAR WORSE in the downtown area over the last two years and the pace is accelerating. If you want safety, the talking heads here have got to get off their duffs and DO SOMETHING.

    Show up at public meetings and yell Make elected type’s lives miserable until you get high levels of police disability AND effective enforcement in the damn subway at all hours. If Wagner and Lindsay could put a cop on each train and platform_ these present geniuses can too. Demand that the mentally I’ll who time and again have 0roven they are dangers to the public be confined till they are really well or 90 ,years old. Then, we need to un-demonize and demarginalize the idea that New Yorkers have the right of self defense We need black letter statutory laws placing a hard definition on law the circumstances one can defend him or her sell

  • Teresa

    Can you supply some evidence that “these incidents are FAR WORSE…over the last two years”? What are the stats?

  • Jeffrey Smith

    This is a classic, who are you going to believe, what I say or your eyes?
    Who do you think I should form my opinion and basis for my actions?
    City Statistics or what I have directly witnessed?

    I think I’ll trust me eyes…

  • Jeffrey Smith

    And, how about addressing the 90% of what I said? Do YOU think the present levels of police disability and enforcement in the subways are reasonable…or dangerious.?

    Do YOU think it was “all right” for bloomberg to take more than 50% of the agent booths out of the system to save money?

    Do YOU think its all right to have a huge untreated mentally I’ll population roaming around the city uncared for?

    Try talking to the hard issues I outlined…if you can…

  • Taters

    Positively Swiftian! Kudos!

  • Reggie

    Well, when you write, “there’s an almost total lack of police today in the subways. Mayor G put them all topside,” then yes, I would like you to provide sources.

  • W.R.

    Crime may not be nearly as bad as the 80s and early 90s but the mayor’s policies are not helping at all. The hypocrisy is what gets me the most — preaching transparency but doing the exact opposite with special deals for the BH library, stonewalling FOIL requests, advocating for developers (who fund him) rather than the people etc

  • Teresa

    I see plenty of police in the subways, on a variety of lines, at a variety of times of day. You make a pretty categorical statement, so I was curious about what evidence–beyond your own perceptions–you have for it. Seems a reasonable question.

  • Hicks St Guy

    gee, FedUp, when you’re not blaming the Mayor do you substitute the President instead? If you’re a Republican, put someone remotely electable, until then, shut the . .
    so tiresome, and knee-jerk automatic.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlsiLOnWCoI Arch Stanton

    Don’t waste your time. He never backs up any of his statements with credible evidence.

  • Jeff Smith

    Why doesn’t anyone simply google! Anything like subway policing, or NYC police unification, or police visibility in subway. The issue of the decline of police presence and longer emergency response times have been the subject of many dozens of articles in major publica-
    tions in the NYC area. Before you try to falsely claim something, even something directly observable, may not be true. Why doesn’t anyone
    make the very minimal effort to do a 30 second search on a subject!!!
    This is a central aspect of all our safety, isn’t it worth the effort?

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlsiLOnWCoI Arch Stanton

    Did you google any of those questions?
    It is up to you to do the search and post links to the evidence to support your claim.