Police have released a sketch—but not surveillance footage—of the man they say attacked a 57-year-old Trinidadian woman in a subway station while shouting racist statements on Friday.
The suspect is described as a white man in his 30s, who used an unknown weapon to stab Ann Marie Washington in the chest as she was walking out of the Church Avenue station in Flatbush. He allegedly called the victim a "black bitch" while punching her, then fled on a Q train.
Speaking with the NY Post, Washington said that she suffered a collapsed lung during the attack, which she didn't realize until returning home and finding blood on her pillow. "It’s still fresh in my mind," she said. "I’m walking off the platform and saw a white guy—well-groomed—standing. As I pass him, I feel blows on the back of me."
She remained hospitalized at Kings County Hospital as of Tuesday, but says she's improving, and hopes to be out in a few days.
During a press conference on Monday afternoon, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams joined the chorus of community advocates criticizing the NYPD's response to the apparent bias incident. He demanded that the attack be investigated as a hate crime—it initially was not—and questioned why there was no effort made to stop the train after a witness alerted transit police to the situation. "Now we're playing catch up to what would have been the proper response at the time," Adams said. "In the age of video surveillance, why don't we have a photo that is already posted?"
"This madman is still out there," he added, "and we don't know if he has an ice pick, we don't know if he has a knife."
The victim's daughter, Itisha Washington, tells PIX 11 that the her mom was "punched all over her body: back, chest, head, face. She was stabbed by a pointy object. We don't know what it was. We suspect it could have been an ice pick of some sort."
Congresswoman Yvette Clark has also condemned the attack, urging vigilance in the neighborhood and placing some of the blame on President Donald Trump. "We are hearing from Washington D.C. an acceptance of hate crimes that are taking place across this nation," she said.
Last week, NYPD leadership said there had been 309 hate crimes reported so far this year—up slightly from last year, though a major leap from the annual reports prior to the election of Donald Trump. Police Commissioner James O'Neill has also pinned the recent uptick in incidents on the "current atmosphere."
Anyone with information in regards 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). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.