Police from the 114th Precinct in Astoria are searching for a group of five people they suspect were responsible for throwing a Citi Bike onto the tracks at the Steinway Street subway station on Sunday, Sept. 19.
In a shocking video that went viral on social media, an oncoming southbound R train made contact with the bike lying on the track in a collision that caused “significant sparking, damage to the train” and the subway’s emergency brake to engage, creating a substantial risk of injury to straphangers aboard the train as well as the platform, police said.
— Rick (@SubwayCreatures) September 20, 2021
The NYPD released surveillance video and photos of the group of four men and one woman gathered in the vicinity of Steinway Street and Broadway just after 10 p.m. The group proceeded to the Steinway Street station and one of the men from the group threw a Citi Bike down the stairs from the street level to the station’s mezzanine.
At approximately 10:25 p.m. the southbound R train ran over the bike on the tracks. The group fled the station on foot and there were no injuries reported in connection to the incident, according to the NYPD.
The MTA divulged that two trains hit the bicycle or parts of bicycle — the Manhattan-bound R train at 10:22 p.m. and a Forest Hills-bound R train at 10:25 p.m. Both trains were forced to apply emergency brakes.
“This was an attack on all New Yorkers that took place in the transit system and the miscreants who threw that bike in the path of an oncoming train should be prosecuted for their reckless disregard for safety of subway riders and workers,” MTA spokesman Tim Minton said. “We’re grateful to the NYPD for its aggressive investigation.”
No arrests have been made, and the investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information in regard to the identity of the suspects is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the CrimeStoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com, or on Twitter @NYPDTips.