Ronald Baptiste: NYC grandpa who was shoved onto subway tracks by thug begs Mayor Eric Adams to curb crime

Ronald Baptiste: NYC grandpa who was shoved onto subway tracks by thug begs Mayor Eric Adams to curb crime
Ronald Baptiste who was slugged and shoved onto tracks urged Eric Adams to end subway crime (Screenshot/NY Post and Andrew Harnik/Getty Images)

BRONX, NEW YORK: Ronald Baptiste, a 62-year-old grandfather, who was punched and shoved onto Bronx subway lines as part of a potential "knockout game" broke down in tears and pleaded to Mayor Eric Adams to take additional action to reduce transit crime in the city.

Baptiste, an electrician, and a grandfather described his trauma to the New York Post on October 25. “Everybody’s talking the talk, but nobody’s walking the walk, and it’s getting more and more dangerous for innocent people trying to get to and from where they have to go.” In relation to the subway crime, he said, “I paid $2.75 to the MTA so a guy could bash me in the head and throw me in the middle of the tracks. I want to be able to walk into the subway system and feel safe. You could put a million cops on the subway, but if you don’t clear out the homeless and criminals from the subway, we will never have a safe system. No matter how many homeless shelters you have to build, get them off the subway. It’s so embarrassing that people recognize that New York is a crime city,” he said.

READ MORE 

ADVERTISEMENT

Brooklyn subway slasher cuts woman in the face with razor, punches another in unprovoked attacks before fleeing

‘I can't do your job': NYC woman who tried to nab madman who killed her dog slams Mayor Eric Adams

ADVERTISEMENT

Police speculated that the man's attack may have been related to the frightening "knockout game" challenge, a depraved social media competition where participants are urged to punch unsuspecting individuals. On Sunday, October 23 as Baptiste was on his way to work in Manhattan, authorities claim that Deshaun Smith, 21, suddenly approached from behind and slugged him in the back of the head. Then, according to the accusations, Deshaun pushed Baptiste onto the railroad tracks and fled. He was arrested by police on October 24 on the charges of assault. According to court officials, he is currently being detained at Rikers Island on a cash bail of $20,000.

There have been a number of recent transit-related assaults, including this one at the 149th Street 4-train stop. “Look at how many incidents we’ve had on the trains,” Baptiste said to New York Post. “My message to the mayor is to stop talking. Actions speak louder than words. He has the resources put in place to fix the subway system, so let’s do it and make citizens feel safe once again to use the subway. Mr Mayor, what are you doing? You’re talking to the media, you’re talking the talk, but we’re not seeing any improvement. People don’t feel safe in New York.”

According to court documents, Smith told police that he punched Baptiste to defend himself. While both Baptiste and the prosecution sneered at this story. “What he did is attempted murder,” Baptiste said. “I could have hit my head and gone into concussion. I could have ended up a veggie. I could have been hit by a train. He said he was provoked? That’s not true,” he said. “That’s crazy. He didn’t yell or say anything. I was alone, just walking.” Baptiste’s wife has also been impacted by the terrifying incident, he claimed. “My wife went to work this morning. When she got to 149th Street, she started crying on the train. She told me her heart broke when she got to the [Grand] Concourse. How would you expect me to feel?”

Nine subway-related homicides so far this year indicate that transit violence is on the rise in the city. In response to the rise in subway violence, Adams and Governor Kathy Hochul have unveiled a proposal that includes additional 25-bed units at two local psychiatric clinics for homeless people who are mentally ill.

ADVERTISEMENT

Share this article: Ronald Baptiste: NYC grandpa who was shoved onto subway tracks by thug begs Mayor Eric Adams to curb crime