MOTT HAVEN, the Bronx (PIX11) — The man accused of punching a subway rider in the head and knocking him onto the tracks claimed he was defending himself, court papers show.

Deshaun Smith, 21, was charged with assault, reckless endangerment, attempted assault, and harassment during his arraignment Monday night. He allegedly attacked a man in his early 60s in a Mott Haven subway station on Sunday night.

“My thing is, he said something to me inappropriate first,” Smith allegedly said, according to the criminal complaint. “I was defending myself. Can I just say one thing before I get inside? I was defending myself. Why am I in trouble? Why are you doing this? I don’t have a record. Am I getting booked for this? I did push him.”

Mayor Eric Adams told PIX11 News that he “will not rest” until the city’s done what’s needed to prevent “horrific incidents like this one.”

“As a New Yorker and continuous traveler on the subways, I understand the pain of any victim of an unprovoked attack in the transit system,” Adams said. “This is why our administration has invested in numerous initiatives to address the problem, including far more mental health experts and police officers on the ground identifying those in need of help.”

Smith’s bail was set at $20,000 cash/$20,000 bond/$20,00 bond partial secured at 10%, according to the Bronx District Attorney’s Office.