Exclusive: Man with autism punched in the face on subway in Queens while commuting to work

Josh Einiger Image
Saturday, January 20, 2024
Man with autism punched in the face on Queens subway
Josh Einiger has the exclusive.

FLUSHING, Queens (WABC) -- It was busy at the end of the line in Flushing on Friday morning when a garden-variety commute met unvarnished cruelty.

"I don't feel too much pain, but it hurts - the situation I was in," said Caesar Yates.

As a 36-year-old man living with autism, Yates is proudly independent. However, on Friday when he took the 7 train to his job at a Queens supermarket, he became the victim of a violent, seemingly random attack.

Russell Yates is his dad.

"Somebody said 'yo, you punched my girl!' and my son's like 'no I didn't push nobody' and he got sucker punched as he says," his dad said, "but of course, I tried to be calm as a parent and everything, but I was furious and I was holding back the tears."

Yates actually made his way to his job, where his boss called his father, who then called 911.

Doctors gave Yates three stitches and told him how lucky he is that his injuries are not any worse.

"I count our blessings and just thank god he's a statistic but not a final statistic," his dad added.

"By the grace of God, people love me like my parents - I'm very happy to still be here," Yates says.

There are cameras all over the Flushing-Main Street station where the attack occurred, but the attack somehow was not caught on video.

The police investigation is just getting underway.