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The Independent

PBS reporter sucker punched on NYC subway

By Ariana Baio,


A reporter for PBS said she was randomly and violently assaulted while riding a New York City subway on Monday night.

Jane Ferguson, an award-winning journalist who covers US foreign policy, conflict, and human rights for PBS, said she was riding the 4 express train around 6.30 pm when a man walked up to her and punched her “hard” on the side of the face.

“I kneeled down on the floor in shock, and steadied myself, unsure what had just happened,” Ms Ferguson tweeted .

She described the feeling as her face being “on fire” and her ear “ringing”.

“The reason I’m tweeting this is, as I knelt on the floor, I felt an arm around my shoulder and a woman pulled me away,” Ms Ferguson wrote . “The young woman took me off the car at the next stop and to the police there at Grand Central Station before giving me a hug and making sure I got home ok.”

Ms Ferguson said she was only able to identify the good samaritan by her first name “Samantha” because she was “in shock” and didn’t get any other information about her.

“So Samantha who was on the number 4 express train between 59th and Grand Central today at rush hour- thank you. New Yorkers are pretty great,” Ms Ferguson tweeted .

People responded to Ms Ferguson’s Twitter thread sending her well wishes and commending the bystander for helping her.

Despite stories of terrifying experiences on the subways, like Ms Ferguson’s, New York City subway crime has decreased more than 19 per cent this year, compared to this time period last year.

According to the New York Police Department’s city-wide crime statistics , major crimes in the subway system declined 9.1 per cent in February – the second consecutive month of decline.

The NYPD and Mayor Eric Adams attribute the decrease in crime to the addition of 1,200 NYPD officers patrolling the subways every day.

Mr Adams, a former police captain, has taken on a tough-on-crime approach to New York City since being elected last January. The addition of subway police officers was part of an initiative that began in October to reduce subway crime.

In 2022, violent crimes in the subway rose, keeping some commuters away from the subway over safety concerns.

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