NEW YORK (WPIX) — A 14-year-old suspected to be part of a group that attacked a teen with autism inside a Washington Heights subway station has been arrested, sources told NewsNation affiliate WPIX on Wednesday.
The alleged assailant is charged with aggravated harassment, assault, harassment, and menacing in connection to the Friday attack on the 15-year-old boy, sources said. The suspect’s identity has not been released due to their age, and it was not immediately clear whether they would be charged as a juvenile or an adult.
In the caught-on-video assault, at least three teenagers yanked the victim by his sweatshirt off of a northbound A train into the 181st Street station and beat him around 5:30 p.m. Friday, police said.
As the group recorded the attack on their phones, someone threw a punch at the teen, video shows. He fought back, but was surrounded, jumped on by the group, and repeatedly punched, the video shows. The teen suffered a bloody lip and broken glasses, authorities said.
The NYPD has said it is investigating the attack as a possible hate crime. In the video, the group can be heard swearing and using racial slurs.
The boy’s mother told WPIX News on Tuesday that she was devastated, calling the attack inexcusable.
“I don’t care what happened outside of the situation, there is no excuse for so many people to be on one kid,” she said.
The victim loves being in the subway and riding trains, sources told WPIX. His mother said that she is focused on giving him the care he needs.
“My goal is to focus on my kid and his emotional well-being,” she said. “He wasn’t that great today.”
Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).