Man Suffers Burns Defending Fiancee in Subway Assault

( -Yet another New York City subway crime has made its way into the headlines, this time involving flaming liquid.

Petrit Alijaj, 23, was severely burned after a man entered the subway with a cup full of liquid, lit it on fire, and then tossed it toward Alijaj, his fianceé, and a family member. Alijaj told one media outlet that he jumped directly into the line of fire in front of his fianceé so that the flaming liquid would not burn her. His shirt was engulfed in flames as he exited the train. He was finally able to remove his shirt, but the damage was already done.

The man, later identified as 49-year-old Nile Taylor, was seen leaving the train but was arrested shortly after police were able to locate him by tracking a cell phone he stole while leaving the scene of his crime. He is facing multiple charges, including assault and arson. Police told one media outlet that the flaming liquid subway attack was the second of its kind within the last four months. A photo of Alijaj lying in a hospital bed covered in protective bandages was shared on X, formerly Twitter, with one user calling for homeless people to be removed from the streets and evaluated “to see if they are mental.”

Back in March, New York Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul ordered 750 National Guardsmen to patrol the city’s subway system and search passenger bags, while NYC Mayor Eric Adams surged additional law enforcement officers to help combat subway crime. Assaults in the subway system were 53 percent higher in 2023 than in 2019, but Adams has continued to insist that crime is on the decline. Subway commuters have expressed support for the increased police presence, with many saying it makes them feel safer. While first-quarter crime statistics showed a decrease in crime, felony assaults were up 6.7 percent, and subway crimes were up 20 percent.

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