By Kiely Westhoff, CNN
The New York Police Department Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating an incident in which an unidentified individual was captured on video shouting anti-gay slurs and attacking a 22-year-old on the subway, the NYPD announced this week.
The victim was riding the A-train near 190th street in Manhattan on the afternoon of Saturday, March 19, when an individual approached and began threatening and spitting on the victim, the police said.
Police released video asking the public to help identify the whereabouts of the unidentified individual sought in connection with the assault.
The unidentified individual allegedly sat across from the victim and stated, “I wish I had my pepper spray,” according to the police report. The individual then spit at the victim and repeated similar statements, eventually charging at the victim and grabbing them by the hair, punching them multiple times in the face and head, according to the police.
While punching and ripping hair from the victim’s head, police say the assailant stated, “I’m sick of all you f*gs.”
The victim was transported to the hospital in stable condition for lacerations to the head.
The Hate Crimes Task Force investigation is open and ongoing, the release said.
The incident comes as crime on the subway has spiked over the past year, raising safety concerns among many New Yorkers, including Mayor Eric Adams himself. Crime complaints on the transit system are up 70% so far this year compared to the same period in 2021, NYPD crime data shows.
Mayor Adams, a former NYPD captain, has made subway safety a key priority and in February announced a plan to use police officers and social workers to combat crime and address homelessness in the subway system.
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