Harlens Hernandez, 25, attacked a woman as she rode the subway in midtown Manhattan, according to the New York City Police Department.
Witnesses told police that Hernandez yelled “you white b*tch” as he slashed the woman’s face with a box cutter.
The attack happened on Saturday, March 2. The woman, who was not publicly identified, was taken to the hospital.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Witnesses: The Attacker Called the Victim a ‘White B*tch’ & Threatened to Cut Out Her Eye
New York City police said the subway attack appears to have been random. The woman did not know Harlens Hernandez, the man whom police said attacked her. It happened on an E train near 5th Avenue and east 53rd street in Manhattan.
Witnesses told police that Hernandez screamed at the 24-year-old woman without provocation, according to a criminal complaint cited by the New York Post. He called her a “white b*tch” and threatened to cut her eye out. He lunged at her with a box cutter and slashed her cheek. We have reached out to the New York County District Attorney’s Office for a copy of the complaint and his mugshot.
The Post reported that other subway riders managed to grab on to Hernandez until police arrived. The woman was taken to a nearby hospital.
2. Report: Harlens Hernandez Was Initially Taken to a Psychiatric Facility
Harlens Hernandez was arrested but was reportedly first taken to a psychiatric facility, according to New York City AM radio station 1010Wins. We asked the District Attorney’s office whether Hernandez has a history of mental health issues or similar arrests.
The radio station also reported that Hernandez is originally from Queens, New York.
3. Hernandez Faces Felony Charges for Assault & Was Being Held on $25,000 Bond
Harlens Hernandez was being held by the NYC Department of Corrections at the Anna M. Kross Correctional Facility, according to inmate records. Bail was set at $25,000. He was due back in court on March 8.
The inmate record lists Hernandez’s birth year as 1994. He is 5 feet 4 inches, about 130 pounds and his race was listed as “other.” He has black hair and brown eyes.
According to the New York State Unified Court System, Hernandez faces two felony charges: Assault with intent to cause physical injury with a weapon, which is a Class D felony; and Criminal Possession of a Weapon. He also faces a Menacing with a weapon charge, which is a misdemeanor. The potential punishment if convicted of a Class D violent felony in New York state is 2-7 years behind bars.
4. Harlens Hernandez Was Arrested in January of 2019 on Similar Charges
Harlens Hernandez was arrested on January 27, 2019, on charges similar to the more recent case. According to the New York State Unified Court System, he was charged in Queens Criminal Court on multiple misdemeanors including:
• Criminal Possession of a Weapon
• Criminal Trespass
• Harassment – Physical Contact
Court records show that a Temporary Order Of Protection was issued in that case. Hernandez appears to have posted $1,000 bond and was released. He was due back in court for that case on April 29, 2019.
5. Police: Crimes in the Subway Increased Even as Overall Crime in New York City Has Gone Down
But crime in the subway has been a problem. CBS New York reported in December of 2018 that the number of reported crimes on the transit system had increased 2.5 percent compared to 2017. Citing the NYPD, they reported that police were investigating an average of six crimes per day that occurred on the subway or at a subway station. The year
Examples include a case in November of 2018 when a suspect slashed a man in the face with a box cutter on a train in Brooklyn. In March of 2018, a 26-year-old woman was slashed in the face while riding on a train in East Harlem. The victim said a man grabbed her purse and punched her in the face before cutting her.