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The head of New York City’s subway system lauded police for their increased presence inside stations and on trains, where officers recently made stops that led to their discovery of two illegal guns, authorities said Thursday.
Subway crimes year-to-date have increased 70% as of Sunday, but Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) CEO and Chair Janno Lieber acknowledged that he is seeing a difference as a result of the bolstered safety measures enacted by Mayor Eric Adams and the New York Police Department (NYPD).
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“There are significant results,” Lieber said during a Wednesday MTA board meeting. “I think a couple of the speakers mentioned specific incidents which are dramatically concerning and upsetting, but there also are some positive results.”
Lieber said he had been asking “for a long time” for an increased police presence on subway station platforms and inside the trains themselves. He pointed to two recent instances that showed the implementation of his requests was having “a positive effect.”
Police taking tours through the subway system discovered two illegal guns in separate instances on Tuesday night, Lieber said.
A spokesperson for the NYPD confirmed there were two incidents only hours apart.
First, police officers were patrolling the Kosciusko Street Subway Station in Brooklyn just before 8 p.m. Tuesday when they saw a man moving from one train car to another, an action that is prohibited. Officers tried to stop the man, at which point he started to flee, the NYPD said.
When cops caught up to him, they took him into custody for resisting arrest, at which time they found he was in possession of a loaded .22-caliber revolver, the NYPD said. The man, whom police identified as 18-year-old Jacob James, was hit with a slew of charges, including criminal possession of a weapon and resisting arrest.
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Hours later, officers in Queens stopped a different man inside the 82nd Street – Jackson Heights subway station. The officers were conducting a check of the station around 2:40 a.m. when they saw the man unconscious on the platform.
They sat the man up when they discovered he also had a loaded .22-caliber revolver, police said. They also allegedly found him to have what they believe to be heroin and crack cocaine.
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The man, identified as 23-year-old Miguel Tapia, was charged with criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a controlled substance, police said.