Akeem Loney subway Penn Station attack murder, straphanger meaning

Akeem Loney subway Penn Station attack murder, straphanger meaning
Aboard November 21, 2021, Akeem Loney was fatally cut on a train at Penn Station.
The stab victim at Penn Station was a 'outstanding' soccer player.

According to his former coach, the straphanger tragically cut in an unprovoked attack on a Penn Station train Sunday was a skilled soccer player who was fighting to regain his footing following years of homelessness.

Akeem Loney, who was sleeping when he was stabbed in the neck in the early morning, was described by his former street-club coach, Reed Fox, as a "simply a lovely guy."

"He was a jovial guy who adored the game of soccer," Fox added. "He was dependable and a joy to be around.

"Not everyone who is experiencing homelessness and difficulties can retain a positive attitude, be cheerful, and find ways to have fun, but he did," he added of Loney.

Loney was characterized by his former coach as a "nice man" and a "promising soccer player."
Loney was characterized by his former coach as a "nice man" and a "promising soccer player."

According to police, the man was dozing on a northbound No. 2 train shortly after midnight when he was randomly stabbed in the neck in what MTA authorities described as a "extremely horrific crime."

Loney was pronounced dead at Bellevue Hospital after being taken there.

Subsequently, investigators published surveillance images of the suspect.

Fox said he met Loney — dubbed "Lonny" by friends — in 2017 while participating in the then-new adult division of Street Soccer USA, a Manhattan-based recreational program for special-needs and homeless New York City children.

Loney's infectious optimism and enthusiasm for soccer made him a popular member of the program, particularly among the younger players, he added.

According to Fox, Loney tutored the children and once talked to a fifth-grade class in The Bronx on the stigma and difficulties associated with homelessness in the city.

Although Fox relocated to California, he stated that those who had a closer relationship with Loney informed him that the victim resided in the men's homeless shelter on Ward's Island but was rehabilitating.

A knife was discovered on the floor of Penn Station following the attack.
A knife was discovered on the floor of Penn Station following the attack.

"According to some of his friends, he was back at work, this time at a restaurant," Fox added. "I wasn't certain of his living circumstances, but it sounded like he was in a really great condition."