NYC subway assault: Man impersonating NYPD officer pepper sprays commuter

The NYPD is looking for the suspect they said impersonated a police officer and pepper sprayed a man inside a NYC subway station, the NYPD said.

The attack happened on Sunday around 6:35 p.m. inside the Whitehall Street – South Ferry subway station on the northbound "R" train platform in Lower Manhattan.

According to police, the suspect – wearing an NYPD detective shield hanging from a chain around his neck – was unlawfully stopping commuters from entering the transit system and attempting to detain them while identifying himself as a police officer. 

One of the commuters he attempted to stop, a 46-year-old man, tried walking away from the suspect when he discharged a can of pepper spray at the back of the victim’s head. The suspect fled on a northbound "R" train.

The victim sustained burning and swelling to his face. He was treated and released from NYC Health+Hospitals/Bellevue.

The suspect is described as a man last seen wearing ripped denim shorts, a black and yellow t-shirt, a yellow hat, and an NYPD Detective Shield bearing shield #694 from a chain around his neck.

Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).