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25 Years Ago - December 22, 1984 On The I.R.T.

EE Broadway Local

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On December 22, 1984, Mr. Bernhard (Bernie) Goetz, a white self-employed electronics repairman from Queens shoots four black teens on the No. 2 (2) train in Manhattan, claiming that they had tried to rob him. The "Subway Vigilante" sparks a national debate on crime and race, as Goetz is later acquitted of all attempted murder charges but serves eight months in prison for carrying an unlicensed weapon.


Source: http://www.ny1.com/1-all-boroughs-news-content/features/today_in_nyc_history


EE's Note: In 1984 December 22d was a Saturday. Bernie was approached by the conductor on the (2) train. During a brief conversation, Bernie refused to hand over the gun and made his escape by jumping down to the tracks and running south through the tunnel to the Chambers Street station where he exited the subway. It wouldn't be until nine days later - New Year's Eve 1984 that he would turn himself in in Concord, New Hampshire.


This was a bad era in the city. In 1984 an average of over thirty crimes per day were reported in the subway.

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I was 5 when that happened and I didn't watch the news back then but I remember when the trial happened and it was crazy. I don't blame Bernie for doing what he did, especially where the subway was at that time. It was truly a scary time down there and in NYC in general.

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