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Subway conductor slashed in neck at Brooklyn station

Police searching for attacker who slashed NYC subway conductor
Police searching for attacker who slashed NYC subway conductor 02:44

NEW YORK -- A subway conductor slashed in the neck while on the job spoke to CBS New York on Thursday after he was released from the hospital.

The random attack happened at the Rockaway Avenue A/C station in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, around 4 a.m.

The conductor had to get 34 stitches after being slashed. He said he's not doing great, but he's alive and he credited a special passenger for that.

Subway conductor speaks exclusively to CBS New York about slashing

"Doctor tells me I could have died," Alton Scott said.

The conductor, who has been working for the MTA for nearly 25 years, didn't want his face on camera but showed his bandaged-covered gash.

Watch Derick Waller's report

Exclusive: NYC subway conductor says he feels lucky to be alive after slashing 02:09

The 59-year-old said he stuck his head outside the window of his A train at Rockaway Station early Thursday morning -- a routine safety measure -- when he was slashed.

He immediately made an announcement asking for help.

"There was a doctor. He came at my side of the train and I had on a mask and ... he put right at the side where I got stabbed for me not to bleed out," Scott said.

Watch Jenna DeAngelis' report

MTA conductor slashed in neck speaks exclusively to CBS New York about ordeal 02:44

He said the doctor stayed with him until an ambulance arrived.

"He came to my aid. He was an angel. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be here," Scott said.

Police are still looking for the suspect, who ran off wearing a blue vest.

The conductor said he plans on connecting with the doctor to thank him for saving his life.

Anyone with information about Thursday's slashing is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip via their website or via DM on Twitter, @NYPDTips. All calls are kept confidential.  

Union calls for more police in subway system

The Transport Workers Union sounded off after the attack.

"For us, we're furious, furious that this keeps happening to our members," said Richard Davis, president of TWU Local 100.

"We're talking about eight major assaults in a short period of time. We need more police," the TWU's John Chiarello added.

The union is calling on the MTA to bolster its police force into the subway system, which the NYPD typically patrols.

Last week, Mayor Eric Adams announced that NYPD officers will begin working 12-hour shifts to add to visibility underground.

Still, transit crime this year is up 13% according to the NYPD, but in Brooklyn South, it's even worse -- up 22%.

The NYPD says there have been six assaults against MTA subway employees from Jan. 1 through Feb. 25 of this year compared to five this time last year. There were 60 total attacks on subway employees in 2023.

The TWU is demanding more MTA police underground.

"What happened cannot continue. Janno Lieber, the MTA chairman, has its own private police force that can be reassigned in the subway system," Davis said.

Lieber responded, saying, "The police were there in two minutes. I'm thrilled that there has been a significant surge into the system, but I gotta tell you, the statistics I talked about yesterday of employee assaults are alarming."

"We're doing everything we can to try and keep our employees safe. We're trying out different pilots at different stations, installing more cameras in our cars, cameras in our stations," said Demetrius Crichlow, senior VP of NYC Transit's Department of Subways.

Among the efforts, the MTA says, is a new pilot program installing portable stanchions at the 125th Street station, to deter attacks against conductors.

"We are OK, whatever they want to try. It's just not enough," Davis said.

The MTA says it's added over 10,000 cameras in subway stations and will now be installing cameras in conductors' cars.

Subway service disruptions

Thursday's attack resulted in major A and C train disruptions during the morning commute.

The MTA took to social media, saying, "We're running as much service as we can with the train crews we have available."

CBS New York asked the union about that.

"We have a procedure that's in our contract, where our members can ask for assurances and safety before proceeding and they asked for that. And management has to be able to clear that for our members to proceed," Davis said.

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