Police in New York City are looking for a group of teens seen in a viral video attacking a special needs student on the subway.
One 14-year-old has been arrested and is facing several charges for his part in the assault.
A 15-year-old autistic teen from Queens was jumped by a violent group of kids on the northbound A train at West 181st Street and Fort Washington Avenue around the 5:30 p.m. rush hour commute on Friday, March 10.
Multiple bystanders pulled out their phones and videotaped the ordeal, refusing to intervene and stop the melee, according to ABC 7 News.
Days later, on Wednesday, March 15, authorities arrested a teen, whose name is being withheld because of his age, and charged him with aggravated harassment, assault, harassment, and menacing, Fox 5 NY reports.
The victim’s mother said she refuses to watch the video and is worried about how the trauma of the public beatdown will impact her son in the future.
One clip shows a reddish-brown-haired girl gripping the teen by his sweater and dragging him on and off the train.
She can be seen hitting him, and when he strikes back, other kids join the girl in the attack, pummeling the autistic youth with punches accompanied by an invective of racial slurs and curses.
After watching the video, New York City Transit President Richard Davey released a statement.
“Our hearts are with the young man seemingly being senselessly victimized,” he stated.
Other subway riders were shown the video and they also were aghast.
“You can’t pile up on a kid like that,” straphanger Florencia Lozano told local station ABC7.
The teen’s mother said she found out her son was assaulted after members of the NYPD told her he was hospitalized in a facility far away from their Queens home.
Fortunately, the teen’s physical injuries (a busted lip and body bruises) were mended with a few stitches. His mother is now raising concerns about the mental scars the assault will leave on her child.
NYPD 34th Precinct is still looking for the two female suspects, though more than the two girls and one boy are seen jumping the victim in the video. The assailants’ images have been posted on social media and shared with the public through the precinct’s Crime Stoppers campaign.
The young man, who is described as high-functioning autistic, has stated he didn’t know the assailants and has not provided a reason why they attacked him.
Because anti-Black slurs are used in the video, the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force has been pulled into the investigation — reviewing views and searching for the teens.
While others are looking at the video, the boy’s mother says she won’t.
“I refuse to watch that video. Nobody wants to see their kid being assaulted.”
According to Fox News, outraged residents hosted a rally on Tuesday outside of the subway station where the incident happened to protest racism and bullying and support the boy.
At the gathering, speakers shared the teen was part of an organization called “Transit Kids,” a group of young people with developmental disabilities who enjoy riding trains.