The NYPD is searching for a suspect who made anti-Mexican statements and punched a 14-year-old boy in the face on a subway in Brooklyn on Monday morning, the department said.
The victim got onto the northbound 4 train with two family members around 7:15 a.m.
The suspect then sat next to one of the victim’s family members and made racist statements before punching the 14-year-old in the face, giving him a laceration on the nose, the NYPD said.
“I don’t want Mexicans near me. I don’t like Mexicans,” the suspect said before punching the victim, according to WABC.
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The suspect then fled the subway station.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced that there would be a larger police presence in the city’s subway system just days into his term.
“The omnipresence is the key,” Adams said last week. “People feel as though the system is not safe because they don’t see their officers.”
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Hate crimes surged in New York City last year, increasing from 252 in 2020 to 503 in 2021.
The biggest increases came in crimes targeting Asians, which skyrocketed 361%, followed by anti-Semitic hate crimes, which are up 51%.
Fox News’s Emma Colton and Andrew Mark Miller contributed to this report.