Manhattan pepper spray perp who attacked senior and snarled subway service still at large

Pepper spray perp attacked senior man in Union Square
The suspect behind a pepper spray attack at the Union Square subway station on Oct. 7, 2022.
Photo courtesy of NYPD

The assailant who pepper-sprayed a senior man at a Manhattan subway station on Friday morning — and caused a major subway service disruption in the process — remains at large, police reported.

The NYPD released video footage of the suspect sought for the disturbing incident that occurred at 10:03 a.m. on Oct. 7 at the 14th Street-Union Square stop.

According to police, the victim, a 77-year-old man, exited from a Downtown-bound W train and was attacked as he pushed his small cart along the platform. 

Law enforcement sources said the suspect, after the victim inadvertently brushed against him with the cart, pulled out the pepper spray bottle and discharged it at the man, causing pain and redness to the victim’s face and eyes.

Following the attack, authorities said, the assailant fled out of the station and onto the street to parts unknown.

The incident was reported to the 13th Precinct and NYPD Transit District 4. EMS rushed the victim to Bellevue Hospital in stable condition.

But the episode also caused a brief, yet widespread disruption of train service along the eight subway lines serving the Union Square stop — the L, N, Q, R and W trains, along with the 4, 5 and 6 IRT lines — as police investigated.

Police described the suspect behind the pepper spray attack as a man with a dark complexion who wore a blue baseball hat, a blue jacket, blue jeans and light-colored sneakers.

Anyone with information regarding the assault can call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (for Spanish, dial 888-57-PISTA). You can also submit tips online at crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, or on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls and messages are kept confidential.