A thief snatched a BSGE student’s iPhone on a train in Woodside and then tried to run away by escaping onto the subway tracks, only to be struck by another train. The entire ordeal delayed many rush hour commuters across Queens and into Manhattan. At around 7:40 a.m. on Tuesday, April 5th, the man approached the 13 year-old student, an 8th grader at BSGE, and took his phone. As he was trying to leave the car, several people tried to stop him. In order to get away, the 33 year-old culprit punched a man in the face then jumped onto the express train tracks, where he tried to run away. Although police were unable to pursue him, moments later he was sideswiped by a Manhattan-bound F train and mildly electrocuted by the third rail.
Because of the robbery and the thief’s injury, subway service was suspended between the boroughs on the E, F, M and R lines for nearly an hour, delaying many commuters, including BSGE students. Many students decided to leave the train station and get to school another way, such as walking or taking a bus. Jay Schleyer ’17, a junior at BSGE, got out of the subway station at Northern Boulevard and walked to school. “It was very stressful,” said Jay, “because I didn’t know if I should stay on the train or go.” In the morning during first period at school, many classes had almost 50% of the students missing because of the train delays. Students arrived to school at times as late as 9:15 a.m., which means that they missed their first period classes entirely. Every student who arrived late also received a late pass, although some students think that it was unfair for the school to give out late passes to the students since it was not their fault for being late.
The incident also brings to light the issue of crime near the school, and student safety. As mentioned before, the student who got robbed is from BSGE, and the crime took place at around the school. Similarly, a few weeks ago, a shooting also happened two blocks away from school, when a taxi driver was shot in the head after picking up a few passengers from a club. As a result, some students and teachers may feel less safe around the school area in recent days. However, Mr. Mehan thinks differently. “I think that students and adults just need to pay more attention to their surroundings and their environments at any given moment because of unforeseen circumstances. The fact that somebody randomly tried to steal someone else’s cell phone is a problem that can happen anywhere.” Adrian Kulesza ‘17 agrees with Mr. Mehan’s statement. “These [the incidents] feel more like one-time incidents. If there were more muggings and shootings, I would feel less safe. But as of now, I do not feel that.”