Update at bottom: Bloomberg angrily defends locking passengers in with murderer
In the remade-twice film "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3," armed men take passengers on a New York City subway train hostage.
On Saturday, the NYPD effectively informed a train conductor to seal passengers in a subway car with a murderer.
Apparently, creating potential hostage situations is a new crime stopping tactic.
"Nearly 30 petrified passengers were trapped on a Midtown hell train yesterday with a knife-wielding madman and the blood-soaked body of a straphanger he just stabbed to death in a senseless argument over a seat," The New York Post reported Sunday. "The Bronx-bound D train came to a screeching halt at around 2 a.m. in the tunnel between the Rockefeller Center and Seventh Avenue stations when a rider yanked the emergency cord after watching the carnage unfold."
The paper adds, "The group of riders were stuck in the car behind locked doors as a pool of blood began to form around the dying man and the suspect, Gerardo Sanchez, 37, of The Bronx, coldly stood over him. Eventually, Sanchez strolled to one end of the car, and the rest of the passengers fled to the opposite end."
The Post reports, "Cops relayed word to the operator to keep the car sealed until they arrived — leaving horrified straphangers trapped in with the killer and the body for about five minutes until the doors opened at the station, the sources said."
Monday, the Post seems to be blaming the situation on passengers, warning readers to "think before you pull chord."
Chuck Bennett advises, "If a passenger witnesses a crime or a passenger becomes ill, the cord can be pulled if the train is still at the station but not when it's already departing."
"You can't get help to anyone if the train is between the stations," NYC Transit spokesman Charles Seaton tells the NYC tabloid.
Angry commuters unloaded on the NYPD in Monday's Daily News.
"[They] gambled with a lot of lives," said Richard Kaye, 45, of Morrisania, when asked whether keeping passengers locked inside was the right call.
"God forbid he had stabbed four more people."
"If you lock us in the train, he could go crazy and start killing us, start slashing us," said Gloria Whyte, 34, of Long Island City.
"I wouldn't want to be one of those people stuck in the train with someone who commits murder," said Anne-Marie Christensen, a 28-year-old social worker from the upper East Side. "He's already in a heightened state, so it's dangerous to leave people alone with him."
"What if he'd had a gun?" asked Jonathan Gack, 19. "That would have made everything 10 times worse."
The Daily News notes that only one of the passengers sealed in with the murderer thanked the police for doing "the right thing."
Bloomberg angrily defends locking passengers in with murderer
The newly reelected mayor of New York City believes that it's an outrage - that anyone would be outraged about being locked on a subway car with a murdererer.
Metro International notes, "Mayor Michael Bloomberg angrily defended the NYPD’s decision to lock the doors of an uptown D train Saturday so police could arrest Jerry Sanchez, the alleged subway stabber."
“If you open all the doors and let everyone run in every direction, you would have the murderer back on the street and I don’t think that’s what anybody wants,” said Bloomberg, his face reddening as he answered reporters’ questions on the topic.
The AP notes Bloomberg added, "Letting everybody run in every direction and have a murderer back on the streets doesn't make a lot of sense to me."
Although only one of the thirty trapped passengers, the man who pulled the cord to stop the train initially, told the press that they were fine with the decision, online polls at Huffington Post and the NY Daily News indicate people support this new dangerous crime stopping tactic.