Man tries to assault 8-year-old boy, punches mom at Bronx subway station

SOUNDVIEW, Bronx (WABC) -- Police are on the hunt for a man accused of trying to assault a boy and then punching his mother at a subway station in the Bronx.

Investigators say the suspect seen in a surveillance photo tried to hit 8-year-old Porfirio Mendoza while he was walking with his mother, 33-year-old Irma Torres.

"We were on the train, we just finished doing groceries," she told Eyewitness News through a translator. "We got off train when a man got off train after us and spit on my son and was about to hit him for no reason. My son didn't do anything."

It happened around 12:40 p.m. Monday at the Elder Avenue subway station in the Soundview section.

"When he passed us and came back towards us, I knew he was going to do something," she said. "When I saw he was going to hit my son, I let everything go and got in between them, didn't matter what happened to me."

She quickly jumped between the two and was punched in the face.

"He hit me in my face," she said, "It's still a little inflamed and some bruising around my eye, but thankfully I'm a little better."

The suspect then ran off.

"I felt bad, but now, thankfully, me and my son are OK," she said. "I hope they catch the guy that did this to my son, because he didn't do anything."

The woman was also walking with a 1-year-old in the stroller, but thankfully, she said nothing happened to that child.

"I don't wish him anything bad, but I'm sure he has family and wouldn't want that to happen to him," she said. "If you don't do anything, not sure why he would assault a person...and he assaulted a child."

The suspect is described as having dark complexion and a slim build with a close cut hair cut and is between to be in his mid 30s to mid 40s. He was last seen wearing dark blue jeans, a gray hoodie, a black bubble jacket and white and black sneakers.

Anyone who recognizes the suspect is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).

You can also submit tips by visiting the CrimeStoppers website at or by messaging on Twitter @NYPDTips.

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