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Taylor Dowling, RN

Missouri nurse attacked in New York returns home

A young nurse from St. Louis traveled to New York this week to be a Good Samaritan. Instead, she ended up being an assault victim.

Taylor Dowling, who was planning on joining a summer nursing program giving COVID-19 vaccinations in the five boroughs of New York City, was walking back to her hotel with her parents after dinner when she was punched in the head by a stranger. Now she’s returning to Missouri, saying she’s still in shock.

It didn’t take long for Dowling and her parents to get a completely different perspective from their previous visit to New York City, which they thoroughly enjoyed. Carole Dowling said of the brief visit this time, “We have seen everything. We’ve seen people shooting up drugs. The first time we were in New York it was never like that.”

Taylor Dowling said she wouldn’t feel safe if she took the subway. “Imagine if I’m by myself and I don’t know anybody,” she said. “There’s just no point to stay and risk that.”

Dowling’s concern about taking the subway is not without evidence. On Wednesday, an off-duty MTA conductor was stabbed in the left eye and ear and cut on the forehead, and another man was stabbed with an ice pick in two incidents on the New York City subway; in early April, a man allegedly punched a 61-year-old woman’s head multiple times on a subway in Brooklyn. He fled when the train got to the Atlantic Avenue station.

In late March, the NYPD started an investigation after video showed a man repeatedly punching another man in the head on the subway, then choking him until he looked as if he were unconscious.

Although the NYPD is planning to add 80 uniformed officers in the Midtown Manhattan area, Dan Biederman, president of the 34th Street Partnership, cautioned, “It’ll be great to have the troops. The problem is there’s a limit to what they can do given the attitude of the district attorneys.”

–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice