‘Manspreader’ accused of punching subway passenger arrested

BROOKLYN — A Crown Heights man has been arrested and charged with assault after he allegedly punched a subway passenger when she accused him of "manspreading."

Manspreading is a term used when someone is taking up more than one seat on the subway.

The incident happened Thursday morning on a Manhattan-bound N train. Samantha Saia told police she asked the man to be more considerate and move over so someone else could sit down. Instead of moving, Saia said the man became angry.

He has been identified as 56-year-old Derek Smith of Crown Heights.

"He just started calling me all sorts of disgusting names," Saia said. "And muttered under his breath 'I’ve raped white women like you, you’re nothing to me cursing at me.'"

Saia said she tried to ignore him — when she suddenly felt his fist in her face.

"He just clocked me and banged my head into the wall and at that point I just felt blood on my hand," Saia said.

A good Samaritan rushed to her side to help and the man was escorted off the train where he fled the area.
He was later arrested and charged.

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. All calls are strictly confidential.