‘I was so scared’: Man hit with bottle, pushed down subway stairs in Harlem

HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) — A 50-year-old man was hit with a bottle and pushed down the stairs at a subway station in Harlem, and police are hoping surveillance images of the suspect will lead to an arrest.

Now the victim, Guillermo Garcia, is speaking out to Eyewitness News about his harrowing ordeal, saying he now lives in fear since his attacker hasn’t been caught.

It happened around 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 14, on the northbound C platform at the 145th Street station.

“He said, ‘Give me the money,'” Garcia said. “And then he told me, ‘I want to kill you.'”

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Garcia said he was leaving the uptown platform and had just pushed through the turnstiles, when he was suddenly confronted by the crazed man demanding money.

“He punched me in the face,” he said. “I was so scared.”

After he was punched, Garcia says he was chased through the station before the man smashed him in the head with a bottle and shoved him down a flight of stairs.

“This is too much,” he said. “I have too much pain. It’s been three weeks already.”

Garcia is just one of more than 150 victims of crime in the New York City transit system in April, and subway crime increased more than 50% over the same month in 2021.

NYPD commanders have added hundreds of officers underground, and in an Eyewitness News interview this week, Chief of Department Kenneht Corey said arrests are up.

“We’re arresting the people who are committing serious crimes, but we also have to provide that very visible uniform presence that reassures New Yorkers that are traveling on the subway that we’re here and we’re on top of it,” he said.

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Garcia wishes officers had been there when he was attacked.

“They need more police,” he said, adding that there were no officers on the platform or in the station at the time.

The suspect made off with Garcia’s wallet after he dropped his bag and it fell out.

He sustained injuries to his knee, wrist and right eye but refused medical attention at the scene.

Anyone with information in regard 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).

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