A man was assaulted in a St. Louis, Mo. Light rail train on Monday after refusing to get into a conversation about the shooting of Michael Brown.
The suspect, who was caught on camera by St. Louis Metro surveillance video, punched the victim in the face, CNN reported Saturday. Two more men joined in the fighting, according to police reports. Another passenger recorded the attack on a cell phone.
The victim, 43, who declined to identify himself for the media, was commuting home when a young black man in his twenties, wearing a red t-shirt and cap, walked up to him and asked to use the victim’s cell phone. He refused and then the attacker sat down beside him.
“Then he asked me my opinion on the Michael Brown thing,” the victim told local a local CNN affiliate. “I responded I was too tired to think about it right now.”
“The next thing I know, he sucker punches me right in the middle of my face,” the victim said.
The video of the attack shows the suspect pummeling the victim, punching him multiple times in the head while he tries to cover himself with his hands and forearms.
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Two other men joined in, police said. A security guard witnessed the attack as the train pulled in to a station and alerted police, CNN reported.
The victim was left with bruises on his face and forehead, police said. The first punch dug the frame of his eyeglasses into the skin on his nose, the victim said. He did not seek medical treatment.
Onlookers can be heard laughing in the background in the video.
“I think it was disgusting that people were sort of laughing and smiling about it,” the victim said. “And no one offered to help. No one seemed to call 911.”
The video sparked outrage on social media, including backlash from people who were involved with the protesting of the shooting of Michael Brown by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo. Last year.
“Mike Brown question sparks MetroLink beating caught on video,” St. Louis alderman Antonio French tweeted. “This is disgusting. We have a major problem, STL.”
• Kellan Howell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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