WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, Manhattan (WABC) -- A 15-year-old boy with special needs is staying home from school recovering after being beaten up on Friday.
A video of him being beaten was shared to social media - and is difficult for anyone, especially the boy's mother to watch.
The video shows a young girl dragging the teen by his sweater on a northbound A train at West 181st Street and Fort Washington Avenue shouting while a pack of kids follow - cursing and using racial slurs.
"I refuse to watch that video. Nobody wants to see their kid being assaulted," said his mother.
The teen's mother spoke exclusively to Eyewitness News and did not want to be identified for fear of her and her son's safety.
The teen was ultimately surrounded and pummeled in the face multiple times.
The teen has high-functioning autism and his mother says the attack happened during the rush hour commute - 5:30 Friday evening. Commuters were outraged.
"You can't pile up on a kid like that," said Florencia Lozano.
New York City Transit President Richard Davey called the video 'heartbreaking and disturbing in a statement, saying,
"Our hearts are with the young man seemingly being senselessly victimized. No one should be subject to this sort of hateful harassment while they are riding with New York City Transit, and the MTA is fully cooperating with the NYPD in its investigation into the incident."
The victim's mother says she was aware her son had gone out for the evening but was shocked to get a call from police saying he ended up in the hospital a great distance from their Queens home.
They are now looking to learn from this terrifying experience.
"Keep a close eye on them. Because a lot of trouble could have been avoided had I done that," she said.
The teen needs stitches, but his mother is concerned about the mental impact more than anything. She says her son does not know the teens who attacked him or why.
Police are now searching for two females and one male. NYPD Hate Crimes is now looking into the attack because of anti-Black slurs that were being tossed around.
ALSO READ | Teens ransack Queens restaurant, causing estimated $20k in damage
* Get Eyewitness News Delivered
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News