78 NYC Subway Car Windows Smashed Overnight, Causing City-Wide Delays

“We will find you and we will prosecute you to the ends of the Earth,” New York City Transit president vows.
Broken subway car window
Photo: MTA
Screen Shot 2021-02-24 at 3
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Seventy-eight windows in 36 subway trains were broken in an overnight smashing spree, causing service disruptions on the B, D, N, Q, R, and W lines because the Metropolitan Transportation Authority didn’t have enough trains to run regular morning rush hour service, New York City Transit president Richard Davey said during a press conference.

“Pissed off? Can I say pissed off? I mean seriously,” Davey said. “I have train crews sitting in that break room right now who don’t have W trains to run and they want to be out there.” He vowed that the NYPD will “find you and we will prosecute you to the ends of the Earth.”

MTA officials said they didn’t yet have any information to share on who the suspects were, where they did it, or whether it was a group of individuals or just one person. It is unclear if they smashed the windows while the trains were in service or snuck into a train yard where trains are sometimes vandalized particularly by graffiti artists. The windows were smashed from the inside. Davey estimates the damage could cost more than $100,000 to repair.

Officials said they’re scouring security footage throughout the system. Most stations have cameras, but they sometimes do not work, as New Yorkers found out when a mass shooter on the subway was able to evade capture in part because the cameras at the station weren’t working. Last year, the MTA got funding to install two cameras in every subway car, but with 3,655 cars and an installation rate of 200 per month, the MTA anticipates all cars won’t have cameras until 2025. 

Nevertheless, when New York Post reporter Nolan Hicks asked Davey “How do you bust 36 trains and not get caught?” Davey adopted a defiant tone.

“You’re going to get caught,” he said. “Why they didn’t get caught during the moment, I don’t know.”