The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force was investigating on Monday after a man attacked a woman, 57, on a Brooklyn subway platform, punching and stabbing her and calling her a racial slur, police and a witness said.
Ann Marie Washington, who was recovering on Monday, had just stepped off the train at the Church Avenue station at 18th Street in Brooklyn on Friday evening when the suspect, a man in his 30s, walked up to her and started punching her before calling her the racial slur, police said.
Washington, a native of Trinidad, was on her way home from work at the time, according to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
Police said Washington, who had initially appeared to suffer a laceration to her mouth, refused medical attention at the scene. Once she got home, however, she realized she had been stabbed, said Kezia Bernard-Nau, 29, who was on the train platform and exchanged numbers with Washington.
“She was just saying he ran up behind her and he started punching her in the face, punching her in the back. She was spitting out blood because she got punched in the face,” she said. “She didn’t realize until she got home that she got stabbed. It was like a puncture wound. It was like a hole.”
Tisha Washington said her mother suffered a collapsed lung and had to have a chest tube put in.
“She should not have been attacked. She was a hard-working woman coming home from work Friday evening and brutally attacked and assaulted. We want justice. We want this guy caught and off the streets,” she said Monday at a news conference by the Church Avenue station. “We take these trains all the time and we have a right to feel safe in our community.”
Anthony Washington, echoed his sister’s remarks. “We cannot allow this to continue,” he said. “It’s very heartbreaking.”
Bernard-Nau, who lives in both Flatbush and New Jersey, said she visited Washington in the hospital on Sunday. “She’s in pain. She’s just trying to recover, get to the point where she can breathe properly. It’s so messed up.”
On Monday, Adams stood outside the Flatbush subway station and said that it was unfortunate that the suspect was able to get away, adding he was disappointed that the NYPD and MTA had not yet released a photo of him.
“This is a mother who was assaulted for no other reason but based on what we hear is her ethnicity. That is unacceptable in this community, as extremely diverse as it is,” Adams said.