The Asian man who was seen in a viral video being beaten at a New York City subway and accused of sexual assault said he “never forcibly touched any individual” in a new interview.
The 42-year-old married father from Queens was recorded being beaten by three Black men on the A/C platform in the Fulton Street station at around 3:30 p.m. on Friday.
The video that was received by Asian Crime Report from an Instagram follower was first shared on Twitter. The 35-year-old videographer who shot the video allegedly claimed that one of the attackers said that the Asian man tried to sexually assault a woman in a subway car. They allegedly pulled him off the train and onto the platform and restrained him while they waited for the cops; however, the individuals involved left the scene before police arrived.
In the viral video, two men can be seen slapping and punching the Asian man in the face and head separately while one man restrains him from behind.
While the video was presented as a racist attack by advocacy groups online, many online repeated allegations against the Asian man to explain the three men’s motives, painting it as an instance of vigilante justice.
In an exclusive interview on Tuesday with the Daily Mail, the Asian father, who chose to withhold his name, claims that he did not assault anyone and that he is the victim.
“I fell asleep on the train, and I woke up to a bunch of guys grabbing me and assaulting me,” he said. “I was targeted and held against my will, was put in a full nelson and assaulted by two different guys. I didn’t even know what the hell was going on. And there was a crowd watching and nobody was helping.”
The father claimed that he was drinking with a friend before he fell asleep on the train. He said that he suffers from a swollen jaw, six bumps and bruises on his head from the beating he received at the train station.
“You know, I’ve been arrested numerous amounts of times for assault, disorderly conduct, drinking in public, but never, ever, ever for forcibly touching a woman,” the man was quoted as saying. “I have never, ever forcibly touched any type of female or person or individual in my life. I have family, a daughter in public school and a wife, and I have a mother and father.”
“I don’t want people to see me like I’m an animal, like I’m a savage. I’m not,” he added. “I swear on everything I love that I did not do what people say I did. I didn’t touch nobody. I didn’t try to assault anybody.”
The New York City Police Department is currently investigating the incident. No complaints of sexual assault have been filed, according to police.
With limited information about the attack, the NYPD are asking anyone with information regarding the incident to contact CrimeStoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.