I was beaten, taunted for being white, Bronx man says after subway attack
Monday, July 18th 2011, 4:00 AM
A Bronx man was viciously assaulted and robbed on a subway train Sunday by four men who he says taunted him for being white.
Police confirmed they are investigating the assault and robbery of Jason Fordell, 29, but have not labeled it a hate crime.
They are seeking the four assailants, who fled the scene. A fifth passenger who police say spontaneously joined in the attack has been arrested.
“Everyone on the train was egging them on,” said Fordell, 29, of the early-morning attack on the 4 train.
He said he was returning home at 5 a.m. from an East Village nightclub where he sells his hand-designed leather accessories when his Gothic getup drew unwelcome attention.
After Fordell transferred to a crowded 4 train at 42nd St., four young, black men began harassing him, cops said.
“People started saying stupid little comments—cracker this, white boy this, f——t this,” Fordell said. “I told them the only reason they were saying this is there was four of them and one of me.”
“I’m a small, little white kid with long hair,” he added. “They got guys three times my size threatening me.”
As the train continued into the Bronx, the confrontation became physical, he said.
“I was in a headlock, punched and kicked on the floor,” Fordell said.
Then a passenger decided to join in—declaring, “Oh, I get a few shots, too,” before kicking and punching Fordell in the head, according to cops.
When Fordell finally left the train at his Fordham Road stop, his original attackers snatched his bag and ran. Inside was $2,900 worth of merchandise, cops said.
Fordell chased the men to the token booth downstairs, where two of them pummeled him while the others escaped with the bag.
By the time cops responded, all four men had fled. But Fordell pointed out the straphanger who had joined in the beating, cops said.
Police arrested Barminthe Ramoutar, 54, of Bushwick, Brooklyn, and charged him with felony gang assault and robbery. Ramoutar has no prior arrests, cops said.
Fordell was treated at Montefiore Medical Center and released Sunday afternoon.
“I had a whole lot of bleeding from my skull,” he said. “My eye is swollen five different colors. There was blood in my urine. I have a footprint on my back and on the back of my neck.”
The case is being investigated by detectives, but has not been assigned to the NYPD hate crimes task force because cops are unsure if the suspects were motivated by bias, sources said.
“They have to look at whether that was the motivation before the robbery,” a police source said.