We take this to be definitive proof that the video of a group of teen girls beating a man on an A train was not staged: The victim has emerged. Rafael Cruz, a 27-year-old Brooklyn resident who is a manager at a Midtown H&M, told the Post, "I'm trying to get over it. It happened a month ago."
Cruz isn't sure if he will press charges, noting, "Teenagers are allowed to make mistakes, but you need to learn from your mistakes." He explained to the Daily News, "I wouldn't have acted differently if it was a group of gentlemen. I am a peaceful person, a regular person who goes to work, who takes the train, who has family and friends."
Cruz detailed the ride, "I remember a bunch of young women getting on the train and being very loud. They confronted me... I kept saying I was just waiting for my stop. I told them I didn't want to fight. Then for some reason they took a swing. I put my head down." And he denounced Kajdera Holmes, a teen who filmed that attack but says she had nothing to do with it, "It was bad enough that it happened. But for someone to make a videotape and then put it on the Internet. For what? Amusement?"
The MTA would like Cruz to press charges. Spokesman Paul Fleuranges said, "I'm fairly certain if he files a complaint... the NYPD will make an arrest, and those people will be brought to justice. It's the only way the Police Department can do anything about what happened and send a message to others that you will be punished."
Cruz also said he accepted the apology from the father of one of the girls; Kierra Brown's father urged the victim to appear and say something, "What we have done is not working, or she would not be on the video. Please, sir, come forward."
You can see the video at the Smoking Gun.
Photograph of Cruz from the NY Post