Friendliest city in the world

And you wonder why people think the city is dangerous. This from early this morning:

An unidentified man — apparently emotionally disturbed and wielding a cordless power saw in each hand — rampaged through a Manhattan subway station on Thursday, slicing open the chest of a 64-year-old rider before fleeing on foot, police said.

The victim, whose name was not released, was hospitalized in critical but stable condition. Police were searching for the suspect, described by witnesses as a thin man in his 30s, who had earrings in both ears and was possibly carrying a teddy bear.

\”Apparently\” emotionally disturbed? To recap:

  • rampaging through station with power saws (multiple)
  • cutting into random people
  • while carrying teddy bear

Taken independently, I can see why you might give the guy the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps he was perfectly rational in his quest. But together, less so.

I rode the train in from JFK (A and 1) late at night a lot this year. Up until about 2am, things really aren\’t that bad. In fact, when the bars close, you end up seeing a lot of wait staff, chefs, and musicians on the train. But after about 2am, things start getting a bit sketchy, and you start thinking that taxis might be a much better choice.

Oh, and Associated Press: New Yorkers may be forgiven for assuming Morningside Heights is somewhere near Montreal, but as a real news source, AP has no excuse. There is no station on Amsterdam and 110th.

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3 Comments

  1. Posted 7/7/2006 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    He must have watch too much BattleBots and decided to become one. Better arm yourself with some cordless power drills just in case. Here’s a palm sized one recommended on Kelly’s Cool Tools.

  2. Posted 7/7/2006 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    I thought that NYC was much nicers, safer, friendlier and cleaner that I expected. Oh, and so tiny! I couldn’t believe that. Same goes for SanF, though I expected it to be better than NYC, and it was. Not that NYC is an oasis like Toronto (putting aside our fun importing handguns from the US), but I just don’t get the same feeling as I get when I’m in a megacity like HongKong, Tokyo, London or Paris. Perhaps it is the balkanized nature of NYC into different towns and buroughs.

    The freaks are just a normal %. We have a freak in our building. That means about 0.5% freak. Too bad he was forced to take down his websites, as they were great. I’m sure a small town in Idaho has a higher % freakness. Stats for stats, NYC might be MORE sane and have fewer wackos as a % total population (I’m sure the freakonomic folks know that), but they just end up on the public transit at 3am. The obvious solution is to just get rid of public transit. Problem solved.

  3. Glen
    Posted 7/9/2006 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    NYC is one of the “friendliest” (I am a bit biased since I hail from NYC), and statistically among the safest of US cities. The real story here is that this attacker is one of the many mentally ill and/or criminally unstable individuals who roam many US cities and towns. Business travel takes me to many mid-sized and large US cities. Local papers contain a fair number of stories of obviously rather than “apparently” emotionally disturbed people who randomly commit violent crimes. The incidence isn’t nearly as frequent as it was in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s, but we still live in a very violent society, with a health care system unable to meet the need for treatment, and a justice and penal system that’s so under funded, it can only temporarily incarcerate, not rehabilitate and release inmates.

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