A man accused of punching a woman in the face on the New York City subway after she complained about him “manspreading" was arrested Saturday, officials said.
Derek Smith, 56, of Brooklyn, was taken into custody late Saturday and charged with assault, officials told The New York Post.
The victim, Sam Saia, said in a Facebook post she was riding the N train from Brooklyn while on her way to work in Manhattan on Thursday when Smith sat down and started overcrowding her.
“He proceeded to press me against the wall and man-spread me excessively,” she wrote.
After Saia asked the man to move, the encounter quickly escalated.
“When I asked him to give me room, he yelled ‘B–ch, you ain’t nothing! I’ve raped white b__ches like you, f___ing c___t! You ain’t nothing, you f____ing b__ch!',” Saia wrote.
After putting in earbuds to ignore him, Saia said Smith then socked her in the mouth, bloodying her lip and smacking her head into the wall behind her.
A fellow Brooklyn commuter and good Samaritan Victor Conde then ran to her defense, as seen in a video captured by Anthony Macca, holding the suspect and telling him to "get the f__k off the train."
“He was definitely not all there,” Conde told the Post. “She just wanted him off the train. So I said, ‘Get the ‘F’ off the train.'”
When she tried to report the incident at a police precinct near her workplace, Saia said she was told to file it back in Brooklyn. She told the Post when she called there, an officer said she instead could file a report at any precinct.
The different answers spurred the NYPD’s top transit officer to get involved. "Sam, I want to investigate this incident," NYPD Transit Chief Joseph Fox tweeted to Saia on Friday.
The 37-year-old said she harbors no ill-will against police for the different answers and going public with her assault, but that she only cared about alerting her community.
“When I filed my report, I apologized. I didn’t mean to paint the police in a bad light. It was not about that. I wanted to make the community safe,” Saia told the Post.
She called Smith's arrest on Saturday "excellent news!"
“This is amazing news and I’m relieved that he is unable to harm anyone else or retaliate against me,” she said.