Bystanders pulled the man out of the track area before the next train arrived

May 25, 2021 05:48 PM
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subway attack
Credit: Wikimedia

An Asian man was pushed onto the subway tracks in New York City Monday morning, and police are searching for his attacker.

The victim, a 35-year-old male, was waiting for a train at the 21st Street-Queensbridge station in Queens shortly before 8 a.m. when he was pushed onto the tracks, a New York City Police Department spokesperson confirms in an email to PEOPLE. 

Bystanders pulled the man out of the track area before the next train arrived, the department says, but he suffered a cut to his forehead during the fall and was taken to a hospital in stable condition.

The victim has not been identified. Police are now searching for the suspect — a man in his 20s or 30s wearing all black — who fled the station after the attack, a spokesperson for NYC's Deputy Commissioner of Public Information tells PEOPLE.

A police spokesperson tells PEOPLE that the alleged attack was reported to the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force, though it is not yet clear if the unit is investigating the incident as a hate crime.

Monday's incident is part of a recent spate of violent attacks against Asian Americans in the United States since the COVID-19 pandemic came to the United States last year.

Many advocates have blamed, in part, former president Donald Trump — who referred to COVID-19 as the "China virus" and "Kung Flu" — for fueling the racism. 

WPIX reports that New York City has been experiencing a string of crimes in its subway stations, including a 23-year-old man being hit in the face with a hammer while on a train during an unprovoked attack Sunday.

In a statement to the station, an MTA spokesperson said they will continue to work to ensure the safety of passengers.

"There is no higher priority for the MTA than the safety and security of our customers. Like other transit systems across the country the MTA has experienced a significant dip in ridership as a result of the pandemic and a spike in crime," the spokesperson said. "We continue to call on the de Blasio Administration to partner with us and do more to address these incidents in the subway and the ongoing mental health crisis in the city."

Anyone with information on Monday's attack is urged to contact 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).