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Police in New York City are searching for two suspects who were caught on surveillance camera attacking an older woman at a subway station over a mask dispute.
The 60-year-old woman was seen being assaulted by a maskless couple following what appeared to be a confrontation over the face coverings, as they were trying to get on a Brooklyn subway-station elevator in the middle of the day. According to authorities, and as seen in the video, the woman was repeatedly punched after she tried to prevent the suspects from entering the elevator with her unless they put on face masks.
The incident occurred just after noon on Friday, November 13 at the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center subway station, according to police.
The man and woman approached an elevator where a woman was waiting. The victim asked the couple to wear a mask before getting on the elevator, according to police. The two apparently refused and tried to get past the 60-year-old.
In the surveillance video, the man, who was wearing a hat and carrying a backpack, was seen shoving past the mask-wearing victim. But as she tried to prevent the other woman from also pushing her way into the elevator, they broke out into a scuffle. Within seconds, the man stepped back out of the elevator and threw a punch at the victim, knocking her to the ground.
He appeared to punch the victim several times in the face and body and the young woman seemed to also strike her before she attempted to stand up.
The beginning of the video footage seemed to indicate that there was someone else waiting for the elevator just off-camera before the assault.
The suspects reportedly fled the scene after the attack, and police released the video to ask the public’s help in identifying them.
🚨WANTED🚨for an ASSAULT #Brooklyn @NYPD78Pct @ the Atlantic Ave and Barclays Center🚂 station on 11/13/20 @ 12:18 PM💰Reward up to $2500🕶Seen them? Know who they are? ☎️Call 1-800-577-TIPS or DM us! 📞Calls are CONFIDENTIAL! #yourcityYourcall @NYPDShea @NYPDDetectives pic.twitter.com/VGyScyBFOl
— NYPD Crime Stoppers (@NYPDTips) November 18, 2020
The 60-year-old victim suffered bruises on her face and pain in her leg, according to authorities. She was reportedly taken to a hospital where she was treated and released.
New York’s coronavirus safety measures require the wearing of face masks in public.
“New York State (NYS) law requires everyone over age 2 who can medically tolerate a face covering to wear one when in public if unable to maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others,” according to the NYC Health Department which adds, “You must wear a face-covering at all times when riding public transportation, such as the subway, ferry, bus, taxis and car services.”
In September, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that anyone not wearing a mask in public could face fines up to $1,000. This came after a spike in COVID-19 cases in several areas in Brooklyn and Queens. Earlier that month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo had issued an emergency order requiring anyone commuting on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority system to wear a face mask or be fined $50.
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