BEDFORD-STUYVESANT, Brooklyn (WABC) -- Three people were assaulted in a seemingly random attack on a subway train in Brooklyn, and police are hoping surveillance video will lead to arrests.
It happened around 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 18, 2021, on a Manhattan bound J train approaching the Kosciusko Street subway station.
The victims were an unknown woman, a 34-year-old man, and a 29-year-old man. The 34-year-old, Michael, spoke to Eyewitness News and said the violence was sparked when the unruly group focused on a woman looking at her phone.
"I had my headphones in, and this is new York and I did what everybody else does, I tried to ignore as best as possible," he said. "The problem started when they started attacking a woman in front of me."
He said he was on his way home from work at the time when a female from a rowdy group intentionally bumped into another female passenger on the moving train, sending her phone flying on the floor.
"I saw she purposely knocked the phone out of her hand," he said. "At one point, they got her on the ground and they started pulling her hair...and they were dragging this woman by her hair on this train."
That was when he decided to intervene.
"At that point I had to step in," he said. "No one had done anything. There was a train full of people."
He put himself in between the two women, but when he snapped a photo of the assailant, he said things got uglier.
"One of the gentleman on my right pulled me by my collar, grabbed my chain and started swinging at my face, and the rest of the people joined in and started swinging at my face," he said. "I thought if I could get a few licks in, they would get tired and let me go."
Once the train stopped, he said he exited, and the 29-year-old victim asked if he was OK. At that point, Michael said that man was attacked as well.
"He suffered a chipped tooth, I had a black eye," Michael said. "Thankfully they didn't know how to fight, because we would have been in serious trouble if they did and they had a weapon."
The individuals exited the train at the Kosciusko Street subway station and fled in an unknown direction. No arrests have been made.
"I'm glad I intervened, and I would do it again because I don't know what would've happened to this woman had I not," Michael said.
Unfortunately, he said he came down with COVID a few days later.
"I did end up with COVID a couple of days later, which was very frustrating because none of them wore masks," he said. "I had to call of work. I can't be sure, but I tested positive two days later. That was the cherry on the top."
The surveillance video shows members of the group jumping a subway turnstile before holding the emergency door open for the rest of the group to enter.
In total, at least 15 people enter the subway illegally.
The woman who was assaulted did not stay at the scene, and so far, she has not been identified or filed a complaint.
Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).
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