HARLEM, Manhattan (PIX11) – Police arrested the man allegedly seen on video beating a 60-year-old woman with a cane and a belt inside a Manhattan subway station, authorities said.
Norton Blake, 43, was arrested Wednesday and charged with assault in connection to the attack, police said. It happened at the subway station at 116th Street and Lenox Avenue in Harlem around 3:15 a.m. last Friday, according to the NYPD.
The 60-year-old woman was walking up a flight of stairs with the suspect when he got into an argument with her, police said.
The attacker beat the woman more than a dozen times with a cane and belt, police said. An MTA employee behind the station booth recorded the three-minute attack on video.
The victim spoke to PIX11 News from her hospital bed on Tuesday. She was still recovering from bruising to her body. The woman said her attacker was a complete stranger.
“[He] beat like I’m nobody, like my life doesn’t matter,” the victim said. “The man is an animal. He’s brutal. He has no right to be free. He needs to be locked up.”
Following the attack, NYPD Internal Affairs launched an investigation into the officers and supervisors who responded to it, Mayor Eric Adams told PIX11 News. The Internal Affairs Bureau (IAB) is looking into why police did not arrest Blake on the spot. He was instead arrested five days after the attack.
“IAB is examining actively what was the role of the officers that responded as well as supervisors. There’s an active investigation that started on Saturday when we first got wind of this,” Adams said.
Some people who viewed the viral video also questioned whether the station agent’s actions were sufficient. While she remained inside the station booth, she did call for help. The MTA praised the station agent for “absolutely doing the right thing,” according to MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber.
“She collected evidence by videoing what was going on [and] immediately contacted the Rail Control Center where there’s an NYPD officer stationed,” Lieber said.
While Lieber noted the NYPD arrived promptly, he continued, “What happened after that is under discussion. The station did exactly what we want.”