UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (PIX11) — “Anyone would be happy. There’s one less troublemaker on the street,” 74-year-old Trevor Crawford said when PIX11’s Eileen Lehpamer told him police arrested the man suspected of pushing him on the subway tracks on the Upper East Side.
Derrick Mills, 49, who listed his address as a church on the Upper West Side but is homeless, according to police, was charged with assault in connection with the Tuesday morning attack. Mills was caught on a platform camera, and a person who recognized him gave a tip to police, according to the NYPD.
Crawford was at the 68th Street Hunter College subway station just after midnight Tuesday when he said the suspect started yelling at him, “Didn’t I tell you not to say anything to me?”
Crawford told PIX11 News he never said a word to the man, but the next thing he knew, the suspect hit him hard, with both hands in the chest. Crawford fell backward onto the tracks.
“He was so fast, he came around the other side, he opened his eyes wide. I wasn’t scared, I was just more nervous,” Crawford said.
An MTA worker pulled Crawford from the tracks, and he was taken to the hospital in critical condition with five fractured ribs. He has now been moved out of the ICU.
The incident happened when Crawford left work on the Upper East Side and headed home to Brooklyn.
“I must worry because I work at night, but I never expected it to happen to me,” Crawford said.
NYC Transit President Richard Davey released a statement Thursday night:
“We’ve said over and over that if you commit a crime in the New York City subway system, your picture will be taken, the NYPD will find you, and we will press for maximum prosecution. This was a disgusting incident that understandably unsettled riders, and we appreciate the rapid arrest that was assisted by a New Yorker who saw a photo of the perpetrator that was taken by a station platform camera.”