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Number 4 train in the Bronx in New York

Source: Richard Levine / Getty

The New York City subway system has seen its fair share of disturbing incidents in the past few months, and one recently appalling case involving a man smearing feces in a straphanger’s face in the Bronx has led to the culprit being arrested.

The New York Police Department announced on Monday (February 28th) that they arrested Frank Abrokwa for attacking a woman with feces at the Wakefield-East 241st Street station in the Bronx, which took place the week before. The woman, who is unidentified, was sitting on a bench on the southbound side of the platform during rush hour at 5:15 P.M. According to police reports and videotape footage that captured the entire incident, Abrokwa approached the woman while wielding a black plastic bag. Without warning, the 37-year old suspect slammed the bag – which contained human fecal matter – into her face. Then he circled around her and smeared more of it onto the back of her head. After that, he ran off, his face visible to the camera stationed at the platform.

Mayor Eric Adams commented on the revolting footage at a press conference on Monday, saying it was a “horrific experience for anyone to go through” and pointed to the urgent need to take a closer look at how the city is handling mental health issues with some of its residents. “Human waste or someone spitting in your face, those are real signs of mental health issues … and we really must dig into how we’re dealing with these mental health issues,” Adams said. The incident is the latest in a surge of shocking attacks on passengers within New York City’s subway system dating back to last year. In response to the concerns, Mayor Adams recently released the Subway Safety plan which was designed to enforce the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Rules of Conduct which were amended after a subway motorman on the No. 2 train was killed at the Central Park North-110th Street station after a fire on the train ensued after a shopping cart was ignited.

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