NYC subway cellist who was struck in the head quits station performances, calls for protection for musicians

NYC subway cellist who was struck in the head quits station performances, calls for protection for musicians

A New York City cellist, Iain Forrest, has announced his decision to halt his performances in the city’s subway system until better protections are in place for musicians. The 29-year-old musician made this announcement after a traumatic incident where he was struck in the back of the head with a metal water bottle at a busy subway station in Midtown. This recent attack marked the second assault Forrest has endured while performing in the subway within the past year.

Expressing his heartbreak over this decision, Forrest emphasized the urgent need for increased safety measures for subway performers. In an Instagram post, he recounted the various instances of violence he and his fellow musicians have faced, including being punched, choked, and now subjected to head injuries. Forrest stressed that two attacks in less than a year were intolerable, compelling him to prioritize his safety and well-being.

As a participant in the MTA’s Music Under New York program, which schedules performances by musicians at transit hubs, Forrest is calling for stronger security measures and support for subway performers. He urged fellow musicians to join the Subway Performers Advocacy Group in advocating for improved safety protocols and greater police presence in subway stations.

The NYPD City Crime Stoppers released a video of the assailant responsible for the recent attack on Forrest, offering a reward of up to $3,500 for information leading to her arrest. The assault occurred at the 34th Street-Herald Square subway station, where the suspect used Forrest’s own water bottle to strike him before fleeing the scene. The incident, captured on video by fans recording Forrest’s performance, underscores the vulnerability of subway performers to violence and harassment.

In response to the attack, the MTA condemned the violence and affirmed its commitment to ensuring the safety of all individuals within the transit system, including musicians. Despite a dip in transit crime last year, recent statistics indicate a notable increase in assaults, prompting calls for enhanced security measures to protect subway performers and commuters alike.