A cagey Bronx subway rider looking to avoid being pushed onto the tracks as the city’s transit crime spirals out control shared her radical strategy for keeping her feet safely on the platform: tethering herself firmly to a pole with a bike lock until her train arrives.
‘People want to push people into trains, it’s bad out here – that ain’t gonna happen to me,’ Wanda Vela told TikTok viewers on Monday in the now viral video as she wrapped a bike lock around a pole on the platform and her midsection, securing it with a key.
‘I got my own chain and this what I do – I wait for the train like this and if the train don’t come, I stay right here. Ain’t nobody pushing me.’
She said she only unlocks the chain once her train pulls into the platform: ‘That’s it. Then I’m going on the train – boom,’ she said in the video as she unlocks the chain.
Vela’s advice may seem tongue-in-cheek but the video hit close to home for many straphangers fearing for their safety, garnering 2 million views.
‘I got my own chain and this what I do – I wait for the train like this and if the train don’t come, I stay right here. Ain’t nobody pushing me,’ Wanda Vela said as she demonstrated her radical safeguard against subway shovers as transit crime spikes in New York City
‘I hold onto the pole anytime the train is coming,’ one user commented. ‘She’s not exaggerating the dangers.’
‘I know some people take this as a joke… but if you take the train, this is a REAL fear,’ another wrote.
Things are, indeed, ‘bad out here,’ according to crime statistics.
New York City has seen a surge in violent assaults on the subway, with a 45 percent increase in the past 28 days as compared to last year.
Just this week, a 141 percent increase was reported for transit crime.
On Monday, the day Vela posted her morbid life hack to social media, a 23-year-old woman was choked, punched and robbed of her purse at the 34th Street Herald Square station in Manhattan.
The next day, a male victim was assaulted by two unidentified men on the 6 train at the 96th Street station on the Upper East Side.
The two attacks followed the fatal stabbing of 32-year-old soccer player Akeem Loney after he nodded off in a subway car on Sunday.
Akeem Loney is pictured left with his coach Reed Fox who described him as ‘one of the best street soccer players I’ve ever seen’
On November 9, a 45-year-old man managed to pull himself to safety with minor injuries after he was pushed off the No. 1 train platform (pictured) and onto the subway tracks by a deranged stranger in Lower Manhattan.
Vela’s fear of getting shoved comes after several harrowing videos of commuters being pushed onto train tracks were posted this year.
On November 9, a 45-year-old man managed to pull himself to safety with minor injuries after he was pushed off the No. 1 train platform and onto the subway tracks by a deranged stranger in Lower Manhattan.
In October, a 42-year-old woman, was shoved from the platform and into the train at the Times Square subway station as it approached the station in what is believed to be an unprovoked attack.
In August, a woman nearly shoved a man onto the subway tracks in a similarly unprovoked attack at the same station as the 22-year-old victim was standing on the N/Q/R platform when a stranger came up from behind and pushed him.
The MTA has said it has increased police presence in subway stations as well as having added security cameras.
NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea has also said that the department is working on keeping the stations safe as subway ridership beings to return to pre-pandemic levels.
In October, there were 83.4 million riders using the transit system, with a reported 1.93 crimes per million riders.
The NYPD recorded 40 robberies, 85 grand larcenies, and 34 assaults across the MTA’s subways last month.
A 1.9 percent increase was also reported for overall crime as compared to November 2020.
Felony assaults spiked by 8.4 percent from last year, while robbery saw an increase if 2.9 percent and rape was up 1.9 percent.
According to the NYPD’s latest monthly numbers, overall crime was up 11.2 percent last month compared with October 2020
The latest New York City crime statistics shows overall crime is up year-over-year