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Man Slashed In Back While Entering Subway Near Penn Station

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A man was slashed in the back in broad daylight Friday afternoon as he entered the subway near Penn Station.

The 51-year-old man was at the base of the stairs walking into the 34th Street-Penn Station No. 1, 2 and 3 subway station at Seventh Avenue around 3:10 p.m. when he was attacked, 1010 WINS' Al Jones reported.

The man said he passed two panhandlers and refused their request for money, and felt a cut on his back as he made his way down the stairs.

Officers were looking for two people, a man and a woman, who appeared to be panhandlers, police said. The victim said he believes one of the two was behind the slashing, CBS2's Lou Young reported.

The man and woman fled on foot, police said.

The victim found his own way to Mount Sinai West Hospital, where he was treated and released, police said.

This was the latest in a series of slashings that have alarmed the city.

It was also the second slashing reported in the subway system on Friday alone. Around 5:10 a.m., a 64-year-old man was slashed in the face by a would-be robber at the Chambers Street A train subway stop at Barclay and Church streets.

Given that it was the second slashing of the day, a police source told CBS2 that numerous detectives were sent to the neighborhood around Penn Station to comb the area.

Commuters late Friday did not seem especially concerned, and were acting the way they usually do.

"Cost of living here," one man said at the station. "If it never happens to you, it never happens to you. If it does, then it's a problem. Otherwise, you just keep riding the train and get to work."

But Evette Rodriguez told WCBS 880's Peter Haskell she was rattled.

"I'm always watching my surroundings. I have to be aware what goes on 24/7. Unfortunately, I have to watch out for myself," she said.

And the recent rash of slashings as a whole has subway riders looking for police officers and crowds to stay secure underground.

"We need more protection," said Rasheed Waller of Harlem. "We need these guys more to keep the city safe."

Police put up tape and closed the station Friday evening, though they kept it open for some time after the slashing. Police were also looking for surveillance video in their search for the suspect.

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