Gustavo Velasques got a frantic phone call from his son Thursday, after the 18-year-old became yet another victim of random violence in the New York City subway system.
Moments before the call, a stranger had followed the teen and delivered a devastating blow to the back of his head at the East 138th Street and Alexander subway station.
“When I take the stairs to go outside of the train station, he was behind me and randomly he hit me in the ear," the 18-year-old said Friday.
"He was crying. He was crying real really, he was really scared. Me too, we were scared because it's crazy," Velasques said.
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One day after the attack, his son is physically feeling better, but the emotional trauma remains raw. He said he hopes his attacker gets the help he needs.
“Now he don’t want to take the train anymore. He has to go to college but we are thinking to buy a car or something like that because he doesn’t want to take the train anymore," the father said.
Police are still searching for the attacker, last seen around 1:20 p.m. Thursday at the Bronx station.
The seemingly daily series of unprovoked transit crimes continued Friday in Manhattan, where police say a 43-year-old rider was stabbed in the back at Harlem's 125th Street station for no apparent reason at all.
The subway attacks over the last 24 hours come amid what feels like an endless stretch of such cases. People have been shoved in front of trains. Good Samaritans get stabbed. Riders take punches to the head. Someone even got menaced with a samurai Sword. And a woman just broke her back getting flung down the stairs, again, at random.
These are just some of the cases that have New Yorkers on edge in recent weeks, despite assurances from the mayor and governor that subways are safe. And the nine homicides in the transit system so far this year haven't helped either.