Dad of woman allegedly killed by ‘A-Train Ripper’ issues urgent plea to NYC

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The grieving father of the woman killed by the “A-Train Ripper” called on the city Tuesday to put more cops in its crime-wracked subways to stop the violence.

“If they had more police on the train, Claudine would be here,” Winston Roberts told The Post, referring to his slain daughter.

Claudine Roberts, 44, was sleeping on an A train Saturday when 21-year-old Rigoberto Lopez allegedly stabbed her seven times with a kitchen knife — part of a random spree that left another man dead and two more wounded.

“My loss is gone already, it can’t come back. But you have to put [more police] there for the future to protect other people,’’ said Winston Roberts, a 73-year-old Brooklyn widower.

Claudine was homeless, as were Lopez’s other victims and the suspect himself, authorities said.

She suffered from mental issues that kept her on the streets, with social-services programs unable to help — especially during COVID-19, her family said.

“She has been in and out of hospitals and treatment facilities over the years,’’ said her sister, Denise Deen, 47, a social worker in Indiana — ticking off local hospitals her sister had been admitted to, including Bellevue in Manhattan, King’s County and Woodhull in Brooklyn and the psych center on Wards Island.

In the 1990s, Claudine “was in a program where the nurse would come [to the house] and give her her medication. A van would pick her up and take her to day programs. She stopped going,” Deen said of her sister.

“She always leave. My dad told me when she was at Bellevue, he asked if there is any program to put her in. They said no because of COVID.”

Claudine’s alleged killer had been in and out of hospitals for mental issues, too, with his family saying a social worker couldn’t meet with him in person for treatment last spring because of the coronavirus.

His alleged weekend slashing spree came amid a rash of crimes plaguing the subways — and Deen echoed her dad’s plea for more cops to patrol the system.

Rigoberto Lopez, the man who allegedly killed Claudine Roberts and another person on the A-Train last week.
Rigoberto Lopez, the man who allegedly killed Claudine Roberts and another person on the A train last week.

The NYPD has said it is adding 500 officers to the transit system — but the MTA has asked for another 1,000 extra cops on top of that.

“I would read about people getting slashed, people being pushed onto the tracks,’’ Deen said.

“It took for me to lose my sister for something to be done,” she said.

“Unfortunately, it was too late for my sister. Hopefully, with more cops, another family will not have to go through this ordeal.’’

Winston Roberts said he is now forced to use money he set aside for his own burial to lay his daughter to rest.

“This was unexpected,’’ the father said. “The money I put away for myself, I will have to use for her.”

He criticized Mayor de Blasio for riding the subway from Gracie Mansion to City Hall on Monday evening to show “folks we’re all together in this.’’

“It’s camouflage. It’s the poor people who ride the trains from Queens, to [The] Bronx, wherever they are going. Those are the people who have the problem,” Roberts said.

“They have to go to work. They have to go home to their families. But somebody guns them down or cuts them up.’’

Instead of the mayor riding the train, “he should see to it that the people who are riding the trains who put you [in office] as mayor — they are safe,’’ Roberts said.

The dad said the family tried to keep Claudine safe — and at home — to no avail.

“Nobody sleeps in there,” he said, pointing to her room, which included a neatly made bed and teddy bears.

Winston Roberts looking at a photo of his daughter Claudine.
Winston Roberts looks at a photo of his daughter Claudine.
Paul Martinka

Deen described her sister as “always laughing and singing.’’ She said Claudine had a son, now 20, whom she adopted at birth.

“He cried when I told him’’ she died, Deen said. “He loved his mom and wanted to help her.”

Roberts said he hopes that if Lopez is convicted in the case, he stays locked up behind bars.

“I may be not around, but they might let him out early and say he is a nice boy,’’ the father said. “The system is bad.”

Additional reporting by Nolan Hicks

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