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MTA Worker in Hijab Called 'Terrorist' and Attacked in Grand Central: NYPD

By Aidan Gardiner | December 5, 2016 3:07pm

MANHATTAN — An MTA worker wearing a hijab was called "terrorist" by a man who then followed her and knocked her to the ground in Grand Central Terminal Monday morning, NYPD officials said.

The 45-year-old worker, whose name wasn't released, was on a 7 train approaching the 42nd Street station about 7 a.m. when a man on board called her a terrorist and said, "You should not be working for the city," according to police.

The worker, who was wearing her uniform and headed to her job at a different location, exited at the terminal, but he followed her and shoved her to the ground, police said.

► MAP: Tracking Reported Hate Crimes in NYC Since the Election

A good Samaritan intervened and scared the suspect off, an NYPD spokesman said.

He wasn't immediately arrested, police said. He was last seen wearing a black jacket and a black hat, police said.

The victim was treated for minor leg injuries at NYU Langone Medical Center, police said.

The Monday attack is the latest in a surge of hate crimes that have plagued the city since the presidential election on Nov. 9, police said.

Police investigated 34 hate crimes between Nov. 9 and Nov. 27, police said Thursday. That's up significantly from the 13 from that same time period last year.

MTA transit worker union head John Samuelsen said only "ignorant, racist hate-filled fools" commit hate crimes. 

"They don’t realize that our diversity is our strength and is what makes New Yorkers the greatest," the TWU Local 100 president said in a statement. "We call for an increased police presence in the transit system to ensure the safety of all workers and riders.”