Comedian/Activist Rosemary Severino organized a NYC Call to Action against racism and bullying after a traumatizing video circulated this week. As a result, a 14-year-old boy has been arrested in the ruthless caught-on-video assault of a 15-year-old straphanger who was dragged off a Manhattan subway and pummeled on the platform, cops said Wednesday.
The suspect was charged as a juvenile with aggravated harassment, assault, harassment and menacing in connection to the disturbing Friday rush-hour attack in Washington Heights, footage of which began circulating online Monday, cops said.
Two suspects are still on the loose — including a young woman who can be seen in the video pulling the victim off a northbound A train at the 181st Street-Fort Washington Avenue station and screaming, “Get off!”
The video, posted to Instagram, shows the woman keeping a grip on the boy’s shirt, pulling him down the busy rush-hour platform and repeatedly yelling, “Walk! Walk!”
A male voice can then be heard chanting the N-word followed by “alert.”
The victim’s glasses are yanked from his face, and he throws a few jabs to defend himself as someone yells, “Fight back!”
The teen suffered a cut on his lip, pain in his body and his glasses were broken during the attack, cops said.
He did not know his assailants, according to the NYPD, which said the Hate Crime Task Force was notified because of the anti-black slur that was used.
During a Tuesday afternoon rally at the same station where the assault took place, some called the teen a “transit kid” — a term referring to young people who are fascinated with riding subways and buses.
“We just enjoy the subway,” said Eduardo Medellin, 15.
“We find happiness, our safe place, in the subways.”
“That’s how we make friends. We all feel connected. Like a brother. We’re a community that enjoys transit.”
“He’s a part of us,” he said about the victim.
It remained unclear what led to the attack, but Eduardo Medellin – who calls himself a “Transit Kid” – previously told FOX 5 this was not the first time an incident like this has occurred.
“We’ve been fighting for years and years, and it’s getting out of hand now,” Medellin said at the rally. “We feel like we need your help. We need someone to help us.”
Activists at the rally held signs reading “Stop Racism and Bullying,” “New York is not hate!” and “Schools teach kindness, love, empathy.”
“I think it’s unacceptable to even feel like it’s OK to use that slur,” said organizer Rosemary Severino.
“The way they were chanting, that’s what really broke my heart.
“This is not what we should be seeing from our youth, especially those kids,” she added. “It’s unacceptable.”
NYC Transit President Richard Davey condemned the ruthless attack.
“This video is heartbreaking and disturbing and our hearts are with the young man seemingly being senselessly victimized,” Davey said in a statement.
“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.”
Thank you to those who came out to the rally in support of keeping our teens and communities safe.
We salute you!