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Union Square subway hate crime suspect in custody: NYPD

Police say he followed the victim off the train after making "derogatory" statements.

The NYPD, who had released this surveillance image

The NYPD, who had released this surveillance image of a man they said they were searching for in connection with an attack in a Manhattan subway station, said an arrest has been made. Photo Credit: NYPD

A man captured on video wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat was taken into custody Thursday night on charges related to an alleged hate crime in a Manhattan subway. 

The suspect, identified as Willie P. Ames, 47, got into an argument with a 24-year-old man on April 20 while riding a northbound 4 train around 8:15 p.m., police said.

As they were making their way toward the Union Square-14th Street station, Ames allegedly made derogatory statements about the man’s ethnicity. Police identified the victim as Hispanic.

“You come here and you take our jobs. You bring drugs,” he said, according to police.

Ames followed the man off the train, the NYPD said, and punched him in the head multiple times before pushing him off the platform onto the track bed. He then allegedly ran off to the Brooklyn-bound L train platform while the victim’s friend and a stranger helped the man back up onto the platform.

The victim was taken to the hospital for a cut to his head, sustained, police said, from the fall onto the tracks.

Ames has been charged with aggravated harassment and three counts of assault.

With Polly Higgins

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