A man has been charged with assault after he allegedly shoved a passenger onto subway tracks in Manhattan.
Derrick Mills, 49, was arrested on Thursday in connection with the attack on 74-year-old Trevor Crawford. The assault, which New York City transit officials have described as “disgusting” and unprovoked, took place at the 68th Street-Hunter College station on the Upper East Side on Tuesday.
Mr Mills allegedly shoved Mr Crawford off the downtown platform after making eye contact with him. The victim landed on his back and suffered a broken spine as well as five fractured ribs and pelvis.
“He was so fast, he came around the other side, he opened his eyes wide. I wasn’t scared, I was just more nervous,” Mr Crawford recounted in an interview with PIX11. “[He yelled,] ‘Didn’t I tell you not to say anything to me?’”
Following the attack, Mr Crawford was pulled from the tracks by an MTA employee. The suspect then fled before authorities arrived at the scene.
Mr Crawford was returning home from work when the assault unfolded. He was transported to a hospital, where he was briefly treated in the intensive care unit.
“I must worry because I work at night, but I never expected it to happen to me,” Mr Crawford told PIX11. “ …anyone would be happy. There’s one less troublemaker on the street.”
The incident was captured in surveillance footage that the NYPD released to the public.
A person who recognised Mr Mills, who is reportedly homeless, tipped authorities. The NYPD had offered a reward of up to $3,500 for information that led to an arrest.
He was then arrested near West 80th Street on Thursday night and has since confessed to the crime, the New York Post reports.
“We’ve said over and over that if you commit a crime in the New York City subway system, your picture will be taken, the NYPD will find you, and we will press for maximum prosecution,” NYC Transit President Richard Davey said in a statement after the arrest.
“This was a disgusting incident that understandably unsettled riders, and we appreciate the rapid arrest that was assisted by a New Yorker who saw a photo of the perpetrator that was taken by a station platform camera.”