Man throws flaming liquid on New York City subway, burns fellow rider

New York City police say a man set a cup of liquid on fire and threw it at a subway rider in a random attack

Via AP news wire,Ariana Baio
Sunday 26 May 2024 19:35 BST
Straphanger set on fire on a 1 train in NYC

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Louise Thomas

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A New York City subway rider was taken to the hospital on Saturday afternoon for burn injuries after a stranger tossed a cup of burning liquid at the man.

The sudden attack happened at the Houston Street subway station on the 1 line in lower Manhattan, the New York Police Department said.

The victim, identified as 23-year-old Petrit Alijaj by The New York Post, was about to board the train with his fiancée when the suspect took a cup filled with liquid, lit it on fire and threw it at him.

Mr Alijaj said he shielded his fiancée and cousins from the fire, causing his shirt to go up in flames. He told The Post he tried to put the flames out with his hands. As he threw his shirt off, the suspect fled from the scene.

Mr Alijaj was taken to New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Hospital to be treated for burns. He said doctors told him the burns affected about a third of his body.

The suspect, identified as 49-year-old Nile Taylor, was arrested and charged with first, second and third-degree assault, first-degree arson, reckless endangerment and more, the NYPD said.

(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Police officers tracked Taylor at the intersection of Canal Street and Renwick Street using a cell phone he allegedly stole from another subway rider.

Taylor was also charged with petit larceny, criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree.

Police are also investigating a similar encounter in February when a man threw a container with a flaming liquid at a group of people on a subway platform in the West 28th Street station.

While violent crime is rare in the city’s subway system, which serves about 3 million riders a day, some high-profile attacks this year have left some riders on edge. They include the death of a man who was shoved onto the tracks in East Harlem in March and a few shootings.

Gov. Kathy Hochul in March announced that hundreds of National Guard members would be going into the subway system to boost security. City police said 800 more officers would be deployed to the subway to crack down on fare evasion.

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