NYC Man Threw a Firebomb on Subway; DA Focuses Instead on Political Prosecution of Donald Trump

AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

In a disturbing incident on the New York City subway, 23-year-old Petrit Alijaj was seriously burned while heroically shielding his fiancée from a sudden and vicious attack. The assailant, identified as 49-year-old Nile Taylor, allegedly threw a cup of burning liquid at Alijaj, along with his fiancée and his cousin, causing serious injuries to the New Yorker.


The incident occurred around 2:45 p.m. on Saturday in lower Manhattan. Alijaj, originally from Albania, was traveling on the No. 1 train with his cousin and his fiancée to visit the Statue of Liberty when they encountered Taylor. “He had a cup, like this, maybe smaller, something inside, like oil, he made fire and he threw it all," the passenger recalled.

Alijaj reacted quickly, placing his body in front of his companions, protecting them from the burning liquid which set his shirt on fire. He began slapping his body in an effort to extinguish the flames as he ran from the train. “So while I was running I was burning,” he told the New York Post. A firefighter helped him cool his burns with a hose immediately after the assault.

The man was transported to a nearby hospital where his injuries were treated. He had burns over 30 percent of his body. He will remain in the hospital for at least one week before being released. Despite the painful ordeal, Alijaj was relieved that his fiancée was safe. “It was worth it,” he told the New York Post. I protect my fiancée with my body.”

Law enforcement later arrested the alleged assailant, thanks to a cell phone he had picked up from the platform while fleeing the scene. Police officers found him about five blocks away. The NYPD is investigating whether he was responsible for a similar attack that occurred in February, in which another subway passenger was assaulted with flaming liquid.


Alijaj’s fiancée, who remained anonymous, expressed relief that the injuries weren’t worse. “I’m just thankful he’s alive,” she said.

Currently, overall crime is on a downward trend in the Big Apple:

According to NYPD statistics, overall April crime was down in the Big Apple by 4.9% compared to the same month last year.

Crime year-to-date is trending downward in 2024: From Jan. 1, 2024, to April 28, 2024, the NYPD reported 37.8K major crimes (murder, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny and grand larceny auto). In that same period in 2023, the agency logged approximately 39K major crimes.

However, the city did experience a 5.1 percent increase in rape and a 7.2 percent increase in robberies. Over the current year, the city has also seen an increase in felony assaults, with 8.58K in 2024 compared to 8.33K in 2023.

Crimes occurring on the subway remains an issue, but it has declined over recent months:

Overall crime in the transit system plummeted 23.5% in March, which NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban says is a direct result of the 1,000 additional uniformed NYPD officers surged into the network starting in January.

The 538 subway crimes between Jan. 1, 2024 and March 31, 2024 of this year reflect an average number of six crimes a day -- no significant change -- and a decline of 1.1%. That 1.1% year-over-year crime decrease was led by double-digit percentage drops in major categories: Robbery cut in half, grand larceny dropped 15% (89 vs. 105), and felony assault dropped 11% (49 vs. 55), officials say. Breakouts on the other categories weren't immediately provided by the NYPD.


It is also important to note that overall arrests in the subway system have risen by nearly 53 percent compared to 2023.

What is also interesting about this story is the priorities of those tasked with enforcing the law. While crime in the subway system is rampant, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is set on prosecuting former President Donald Trump over flimsy allegations of falsifying business records. Unfortunately, New York City's officials appear more concerned with using their law enforcement mechanism for politics than ensuring public safety.


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