Crime & Mayhem

Woman Bashed in Head By Suspect Who Made Anti-White Slurs, NYPD Says

February 26, 2015 9:12am | Updated February 26, 2015 7:04pm
Police dropped charges against a city worker whom they initially said was behind the brutal attack.
View Full Caption

MANHATTAN — A texting-straphanger was attacked as she left a Sugar Hill subway station by someone who called her "little white girl," grabbed her hair, and slammed her head into a light pole before tossing to the ground Wednesday afternoon, police and the victim said.

Police initially arrested a Department of Social Services worker, Michelle Berrio, 43, after she was identified at the scene shortly after the attack, an NYPD spokeswoman said Thursday morning. She was charged with assault as a hate crime.

Berrio was eventually released because she was actually misidentified at the scene and "did not commit the said charges against her," police said Thursday afternoon.

Investigators were still looking for the person behind the attack, police said.

A 25-year-old woman, whose name is being withheld, had her headphones on and was texting as she made her way from the subway station and bumped shoulders with someone, police said Thursday morning.

That person made the anti-white slur then grabbed her by the hair, slammed her head into a nearby pole and threw her to the ground, police said.

The victim, who said she suffered a concussion, was reluctant to talk about the incident when reached on social media.

"I'm just disappointed with humanity, wishing there was a way to make it right," she wrote on Facebook.

"At this point, I still live in Harlem and I still need to be able to go outside and not feel threatened," she wrote. She added that she would provide more information "once we get more information or once I move out of this god-awful part of town."

EDITORS NOTE: This story has been corrected with updated information from the NYPD.