A man has been arrested and charged in the killing of an 18-year-old aboard a subway train last week.
Mark Smith, a 25-year-old East Flatbush resident, is being charged with manslaughter, assault, and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, according to the NYPD. Smith allegedly stabbed and killed Isaiah Collazo, a Staten Island resident, during a dispute onboard a D train at the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center station on April 6.
“I am innocent until proven guilty, I was defending myself,” Smith said as he was loaded into the back of a police car after his arrest on April 12.
Cops said Smith and Collazo, who did not know each other, got into a physical fight onboard the train late that night. At about 11:30pm, as the train approached the Atlantic Avenue station, Smith allegedly stabbed the teen in the stomach and fled the scene with his friends — leaving him bleeding in the train.
Emergency responders brought Collazo to NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, where he later died of his injures. His father, Carlos, told the New York Daily News his son was a quiet, “good-hearted kid” who loved animals and video games. A funeral service is planned for Wednesday, April 12.
Elected officials and law enforcement leaders have flouted the success of a crackdown in transit crime, which has included flooding subway stations with police officers. Citywide, transit crime and murder are both down compared to this time last year, according to NYPD data — but they’re up in the 84th Precinct, where the stabbing took place. As of April 9, there had been 14 transit crimes and two murders in the precinct — and assaults have also increased since last year.
Additional reporting by Lloyd Mitchell.