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NYPD Releases Suspect Sketch After Attack on Muslim MTA Worker

The attack comes amid a 35 percent spike in hate crimes year over year in the city

Police have released a sketch of the man who called a Muslim MTA worker a terrorist and pushed her down the stairs at Grand Central Terminal on Monday.

The 45-year-old female MTA employee hurt her knee and twisted her ankle in the attack, the latest in a string of alleged bias attacks sweeping the region, authorities said. 

Police said the woman was wearing her New York City transit uniform and a hijab when the man approached her on the 7 train and told her to "go back to your country".

When the victim got off the train at Grand Central Terminal, on her way to work, the man followed her towards a staircase, continuing his anti-Muslim hate speech. The man then pushed her down the stairs, police said. She was taken to NYU Langone Hospital for treatment.

The NYPD is now appealing to the public for help identifying the man. He is described as being 25 to 35 years old, 5 feet 9 inches to 6 feet tall, 150 to 180 pounds and was last seen wearing a dark jacket and a black knitted winter hat.

Anyone with information can contact 1-800-577-TIPS.

The attack comes amid a spate of apparent instances of bias crime and hateful language throughout the region following the presidential election.

In New York City, hate crime has spiked 115 percent since Election Day, with 43 cases reported compared with 20 cases in the same period in 2015, according to NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce. Bias against Muslims has doubled, with four cases reported since Election Day compared with two reported in the same time period last year. 

Overall, hate crimes are up 35 percent year over year, with a 45 percent uptick in arrests, Boyce said. 

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