An unidentified man groped a woman’s backside on a subway platform in Brooklyn, then broke her nose and called her an anti-gay slur after they boarded the same subway train, according to police.
The incident, which occurred Thursday, August 17, on a Manhattan-bound J-train, is being investigated by the New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force, reports the New York Daily News.
According to police, the 22-year-old victim was waiting on the subway platform at the Broadway-Myrtle Avenue stop in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood around 1:15 p.m. when the man groped her.
When both the victim and assailant boarded the train, they began arguing, leading the groper to call her a “fa***t” and repeatedly punch her in the face and body.
The repeated punches to the face broke the woman’s nose.
The attacker exited the train at Delancey Street-Essex Street subway station on the Lower East Side, and the woman transported herself to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Police released surveillance footage of the suspect and are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect. The suspect seen in the footage is seen wearing an orange tracksuit with matching jacket and pants.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call NYPD’s Crime Stoppers unit at 800-577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential, though it may be possible to claim a reward for a tip that leads to the arrest and conviction of the suspect in the case.
Attacks against subway riders, particularly those who appear to be LGBTQ, have become commonplace in recent years. Last Thursday’s attack mirrors a similar incident from last December in which a woman was assaulted and threatened with stabbing at a Manhattan subway station while her attacker yelled an anti-lesbian slur at her.
Last year, a gay investment banker was fatally shot in the chest while riding the subway. In a separate incident, a man threatened and then assaulted a 22-year-old subway rider due to the victim’s perceived sexual orientation.
The year prior, a man was arrested and charged with hate crimes for punching three fellow subway riders.
Several other headline-grabbing attacks have taken place on public transit, with a seeming uptick in assaults occurring after the city began opening up following the end of social distancing restrictions that were put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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