Metro Weekly

New York man arrested and charged with hate crimes for punching three people on the subway

Police arrested 33-year-old Jonathan Santos for an anti-gay attack on July 31.

The suspect in an anti-gay attack on New York City’s subway on July 31, later identified as Jonathan Santos. – Photo: NYPD Crime Stoppers. via Twitter.

New York City police have arrested and charged a Manhattan man for allegedly punching three people in an apparent anti-gay attack on the subway over a month ago.

Jonathan Santos, 33, faces three charges of assault as hate crimes and two counts of aggravated harassment as hate crimes for attacking two 19-year-old men on a Queens-bound E train around 3:30 a.m. on July 31.

Police claim Santos approached the pair and made anti-gay and derogatory comments about them. He then punched one in the face multiple times, and, as the train pulled into Court Square station, began punching the second victim in the face.

A 32-year-old woman acting as a Good Samaritan tried to intervene on the teen’s behalf, but was sucker-punched by Santos as the train took off. All three victims later exited the train at the Queens Plaza subway station, while Santos remained on the train.

All three victims suffered minor facial injuries in the attacks, with the woman also suffering a fractured tooth, reports the Sunnyside Post.

The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force investigated the attack and arrested Santos in the 102nd Precinct in Richmond Hill last Tuesday.

See also: Queens man slashed in face in apparent anti-gay hate crime

The initial incident was one of several anti-LGBTQ crimes that took place in New York City over the spring and summer, after the city loosened social distancing restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to NYPD statistics, there were 376 recorded hate crimes in the city from the start of the year to Sept. 5 — marking a 99% increase from the 189 recorded hate crimes that occurred during the same time period last year.

The city also experienced several high-profile attacks believed to be motivated by anti-LGBTQ bias over those months, including incidents in which a doctor who had to have his jaw wired shut after being attacked and called anti-gay slurs, a transgender woman who was stabbed with a screwdriver while riding the subway, a man who was stabbed with an ice pick while riding the subway, and a straight man who was stabbed and called anti-gay slurs after he attempted to stop a man from harassing women at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal.

See also:

Spanish gay man who claimed a mob carved “f****t” into him admits it was consensual

Texas Republicans launch fourth attempt this year to ban trans athletes from competing in sports

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shuts down right-wing newspaper that complained about trans-inclusive language

Support Metro Weekly’s Journalism

These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!