Man who allegedly fired gun shots to prevent robbery on subway platform arrested in New York

John Rote, 43, of Queens, is accused of firing multiple shots into the air to scare off an attempted mugger.

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
On Thursday, NYPD arrested a man who allegedly opened fire on a subway platform in an attempt to thwart a woman from being robbed. Authorities called the incident "reckless" and warned they would "not tolerate" such actions.

According to police, John Rote, 43, of Queens, is accused of firing multiple shots into the air to scare off an attempted mugger on the 49th St N, W, R subway platform on Wednesday evening, Fox News reports.

Rote told authorities that he overheard mugging suspect Matthew Roesch, a 49-year-old homeless man, demand a female victim, 40, to give him money or he would steal her purse. He pulled out his firearm and interrupted the robbery after firing multiple shots into the air. No one was hurt by the gunfire, police said.

Rote has been arrested on charges of criminal possession of a weapon, reckless endangerment, criminal possession of a firearm and menacing, the outlet reports.

Richard Davey, New York City's transit top boss, said in a statement that these actions will not be tolerated on the city's public transit systems.

"I want to be clear: we don’t tolerate this kind of conduct in NYC Transit, period," Davey said. "Once again cameras recorded a perpetrator, and we are grateful the NYPD made an arrest within hours. Thank goodness nobody was hurt here—but what occurred was outrageous, reckless, and unacceptable."

Rote was captured by authorities after surveillance cameras recorded him walking out of the turnstile.

Violent crime is common on New York City's public transit subway systems which has been the center of brutal attacks at the hands of repeat offenders who are often homeless. Within the past two years, 37 people have been violently shoved onto the tracks and since 2021 transit crime has increased by 29 percent, according to Fox News.

NYPD did not disclose if Matthew Roesch, the suspected mugger, was arrested.
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