Scared and mystified
October 15, 2011 3:19 PM   Subscribe

How do I find out what (really scary) just happened to me on the subway platform?

I was at the 72nd St. 2/3 station about 4:50 pm, waiting for a downtown train. Suddenly, people started screaming, "He has a gun, he shot somebody. Run." About 30 other people on the platform started running, so I did, as well. I turned around at one point and saw someone who I *think* was the suspect, being chased by a bunch of guys screaming, "don't let him go."

I BOLTED up the stairs, through the turnstile, and made a sharp right, along with some other people who called 911. I was *really* upset at this point, and went home, even though there were cops and ambulances on the way. I overheard someone outside the station saying there had been a stabbing, but I'm sure they weren't down on the platform with us.

My husband and I have been watching New York 1, but there doesn't seem to be any record of this happening. What the heck? I've checked twitter and Reddit as well.
posted by roomthreeseventeen to Grab Bag (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Call 311 and ask them how you find out about arrests in your precinct.
posted by dfriedman at 3:32 PM on October 15, 2011

I lived in NYC for years - years ago, when it was a much rougher place.
Witnessing criminal violence is always upsetting and traumatic.

But more than that, it can be shocking to realize that what you just witnessed was not even news worthy.
posted by Flood at 3:35 PM on October 15, 2011 [19 favorites]

Gothamist's Incident Map is another place I usually check for these things, but it doesn't mention anything about 72nd Street.
posted by effigy at 3:36 PM on October 15, 2011

Seconding Gothamist. They will probably post a story soon.
posted by User7 at 3:40 PM on October 15, 2011

Saw something about this on /r/nyc and got psyched I might have found some info, then realized it was you!
posted by Ad hominem at 4:13 PM on October 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

My local news channel has a "sign up for email alerts" feature where you can put in your county and they email breaking news. In my case, I did it because I live in Brevard country, where the shuttle used to take off from, and it was good to know if the scheduled take off was actually set to take place or have been postponed.

Maybe your local station has a similar service? Also, check the online version of the newspapers that serve your area.
posted by misha at 4:23 PM on October 15, 2011

Response by poster: 311 didn't have any information, and nobody's picking up at the 20th precinct. I guess whatever happened wasn't newsworthy enough. Frustrating, because it was really awful.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:32 PM on October 15, 2011

You may never know what happened, even though it was awful and scary. I recently went into a subway station shortly after a woman jumped/was pushed and was (according to onlookers) hit by the train. She was visible and moving on the tracks, and the people who saw the incident were very upset. It took about 15 minutes for FDNY to get her off the tracks, and a major transit hub in Brooklyn was almost completely shut down for at least 30 minutes around 9am, late rush hour.

I looked for news reports for days, and all I found was a two sentence report that a woman had been removed alive from the tracks.
posted by Mavri at 4:52 PM on October 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

You might also want to scan Twitter. People will post about things like this and there are alos people who post what police scanners are saying.
posted by autoclavicle at 6:05 PM on October 15, 2011 [3 favorites]

What you want to look for is a "police blotter", which is basically a list of incidents. Sometimes it isn't updated immediately, but published at the end of the day or the end of the week. I'm seeing a lot of hits for NYC police blotters, but I don't know enough about the area to know which one is really local.
posted by anaelith at 7:02 PM on October 15, 2011

You may be able to get some information from listening to today's archived NYC Subway Police feeds here: link
posted by xo at 7:31 PM on October 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

and nobody's picking up at the 20th precinct.

Try Transit District 1, they cover that subway station.
posted by mlis at 7:49 PM on October 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Did you hear a gunshot? It is, of course, entirely possible there was one and you didn't hear it. Subway acoustics can be weird, I think. Some scenarios my mind came up with: Bad prank/flashmob type activity or ARG that shouldn't be out in public; Someone saw something that was a gun or looked vaguely like a gun and then the very natural but uncomfortable human herd mentality kicked in; there was a stabbing/some other kind of violence and these get horribly distorted very quickly... Look up some of the reports of how terribly unreliable eyewitness accounts can be...

I guess my main point is: While it was traumatic and upsetting and scary and creepy for you (All perfectly natural reactions, btw) it may just not be news in a big city.
posted by Jacen at 9:44 AM on October 16, 2011

« Older What is the origin of this costume I keep seeing?   |   How to have the longest birthday possible Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.