What to Know
A Brooklyn woman said a subway rider punched her in the face and banged her head against a wall
She said the man was manspreading and she had asked him to give her room when he attacked
Video posted to her Facebook page shows the alleged attacker being subdued by another subway rider; a suspect was arrested Saturday
Police have arrested a Brooklyn man they believe violently attacked a woman after she called him out for manspreading on a subway train.
Derek Smith, 56, was arrested and charged with assault on Saturday, the NYPD said.
The arrest comes just a couple of days after a Brooklyn woman posted a video that she says shows the manspreading attacker who punched her in the face during a profanity-laced tirade on a subway train Thursday morning.
Sam Saia posted the video taken by another rider to her Facebook page Thursday night. She also posted a photo of her split lip.
“I wanted to raise awareness for fellow Brooklyn gals about some lowlife who punched me in the face on the N train this morning,” she said in the post. “This is the ‘man’ who hit me on the N train this morning. This is his face. Share it!”
Saia said she had gotten on the subway at Bay Parkway stop in Midwood and was riding to work when the man sitting next to her began manspreading, pushing her against the side of the car with his legs.
She wrote in the Facebook post: “When I asked him to give me room, he yelled ‘B----, you ain’t nothing! I’ve raped white b------ like you, f------ c---! You ain’t nothing, you f------ b----!”
Saia told him to relax and put her earbuds in. That’s when she said he slugged her in the face and banged her head against the wall of the train.
“A bunch of good people ran to help me, as my lip was gushing blood,” she said on Facebook.
One of the straphangers stepped in and subdued the alleged attacker. The video starts around this point; it shows the straphanger gripping the alleged attacker by his arms and ordering him to leave the train at the next subway stop.
“Get off the train, bro! You just f------ hit a lady. You just f------ hit a lady,” the man says. “I’m not on duty right now, but I will f--- you up.”
It’s unclear what the straphanger was referring to when he said he was “not on duty.”
“Look at her mouth. Man, listen, look at her!” he says as he continues to clutch him by the arms.
When the train arrives at the New Utrecht station, the alleged attacker says, “I apologize.”
“F--- you,” Saia says in response. “Oh my God, go, get off the train.”
The video ends a short time later. Saia said she reported the incident to the police and was filing at a local precinct.
She said she posted the video to social media to keep other people in the neighborhood safe.
“Be warned. Stay safe!” she said.