A career criminal has been arrested for allegedly pushing a teenager on the subway and smashing another strapping during what a top NYPD official has described as a “ one-man Queens crime spree. ”
Jose Martinez, 35, was arrested Thursday in connection with two separate attacks that took place several hours apart at two different tube stations in Queens.
According to the NYPD, police responded to a 911 call about an attack on Astoria’s 46th Street station at around 11 a.m. on Thursday.
Jose Martinez, 35, was arrested on Thursday by police officers in Queens, New York, after allegedly pushing a teenager on the subway and punching a man in the hands
The push attack took place Thursday morning at the 46th Street station in Astoria
The knife incident occurred six hours later at 65th Street ‘7’ train station in Woodside
Officers interviewed the 17-year-old victim, who told them he was on the R train platform heading north when he saw a stranger staring at him.
Moments later, the man, later identified by police as Martinez, approached the teenager and hit him in the face with a closed fist, saying, ‘Never do it again,’ reported New York Post.
Martinez then pushed the boy to the track and ran.
The 17-year-old was able to cross the tracks and climb the platform south before a train entered the station. He was later taken to Mount Sinai Queens Hospital in stable condition to receive treatment for injuries to his face and knee.
At about 5:30 p.m. that same day, police received an emergency call from a 20-year-old man who reported that he had been attacked at 65th Street ‘7’ train station in Woodside.
The victim said he was sitting on a bench on the platform facing north when a man who said he was Martinez walked up to him and pushed him against the wall.
The suspect then took out a knife and cut the 20-year-old man’s hands in a scuffle.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea (right) called Martinez a ‘career criminal’ and said he ‘has an arrest report as long as my arm’
Martinez tried to flee, but the victim chased him and managed to stop the police officers who arrested him. The knife used in the attack was found on the spot.
Martinez was booked on two occasions for assault, twice for reckless threat and once for resisting arrest, criminal possession and threats.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said in a tweet Friday, “Your @NYPDTransit TD20 & @ NYPD108Pct agents have teamed up to arrest the career criminal responsible – he is now charged with both attacks.”
Martinez’s past criminal record would include at least 13 previous arrests on charges including robbery, violent touching, attempted rape and sexual assault, reported ABC 7 NY.
Shea addressed Martinez’s arrest during his last appearance on CNN Newsroom on Friday morning, as he discussed the need to address New York City’s mental health crisis and tighten parole laws.
“Yesterday we got someone with an arrest record as long as my arm pushing someone on the train tracks,” he said, “and until we start tackling these issues, the police won’t solve this problem on their own.”
New York City has seen a surge in violent attacks in the subway system since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, including hate crimes targeting Asian-Americans and other minorities.
On Monday, an Asian man was brutally beaten and strangled in a Brooklyn subway.
A week earlier, a man was arrested for allegedly punching a 68-year-old Sri Lankan man while calling him names on train ‘1’ in Manhattan.
In February, two people were stabbed to death at the other ends of Subway Line A and two others were injured in Manhattan.
According to the latest crime statistics from the NYPD, assaults in New York City were up more than 23 percent compared to the same time last year.