Cops have arrested the unhinged man wanted for brutally beating a 60-year-old woman with her own cane during a violent caught-on-camera clash at a Harlem subway station, police sources said.
Suspect Norton Blake, 43, was grabbed by police early Tuesday after he was spotted near the W. 116th St. 2/3 subway station in Harlem. He is currently being questioned, police said. Charges are pending.
His apprehension comes as the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau investigates the police response to the 3:15 a.m. attack Friday, a police source with knowledge of the case said Friday. Cops called to the station by an MTA token booth clerk grabbed Blake at the scene, but he was not taken into custody.
Cops received conflicting statements as to what sparked the attack between Blake and his victim, an NYPD source with knowledge of the case said.
During the initial investigation, cops decided to have Blake, who was acting erratic, hospitalized without charges, but it wasn’t immediately clear if he was ever taken to one, the source said.
A second source said Blake was released at the scene.
The vicitm, who is homeless, was exiting the southbound 2/3 platform when Blake, swung what appears to be a black umbrella at her, a video of the attack that went viral shows.
The woman fights back and swings her wooden cane at Blake, who hooks the cane with his umbrella, pulling his victim down to the ground.
He then picks up the cane and starts whipping the woman with it as she struggles to get up, according to the three-and-a-half-minute video.
“That video is hard to watch,” NYPD Chief of Transit Michael Kemper said Tuesday.
Blake is recorded screaming at the woman as he repeatedly whacks her with the cane.
“Now you learn!” yelled Blake who appeared to be carrying several garbage bags during the assault. “I was trying to be a brother to you! I help you walk up the stairs and you just happen to fall down.”
The entire ordeal was caught on video by an MTA station agent, who reported the incident to police, but didn’t leave the booth to intervene during the duration of the video, even though they are now allowed to step out of the booth and interact with commuters.
Blake, who has nine arrests dating back to 2003, hits the older woman with the cane 54 times as she lay on the ground, the video shows. His pants start to fall down as he continues his merciless assault.
The woman tried her best to deflect the blows with her feet as she tried to stand up, but was hit repeatedly in the head and body, cops said.
When the woman finally grabbed hold of what was left of the cane, Blake took off his belt and started whipping her with it, the video shows.
EMS rushed the woman to Harlem Hospital, where she was treated for minor injuries.
It was not immediately clear if the pair knew each other prior to the attack, according to Kemper. The two started to argue after Blake tried to help his victim with carrying her belongings.
“He might have been helping her carry something up the stairs and something dropped,” Kemper said.