Crime and Safety

Career criminal busted in NYC attack on 78-year-old straphanger

A career criminal has been busted for pummeling a 78-year-old Upper West Side straphanger who asked him to turn down his music, authorities say. 

Reginald Matthews, 31 — who has been arrested at least 25 previous times — returned to his home in Brooklyn after the Thursday afternoon Manhattan attack and was busted on an unrelated petit larceny charge, cops said. 

Facial recognition software helped officers determine that Matthews was also connected to the earlier assault on the senior onboard a southbound No. 2 train near 96th Street, and a warrant was issued, police said. 

Reginald Matthews
Matthews allegedly pummeled the senior in the head, knocking him to the floor of the moving train.

The suspect, who has been previously busted for everything from weapons to assault, was arrested on that warrant and charged with assault on a victim over 65, authorities said. 

Cops say Matthews lashed out at the elderly rider after his victim asked him to lower the volume of music he was playing on a speaker in the train. 

Matthews punched the senior in the head multiple times, knocking him to the floor of the moving train before a woman joined in and kicked the septuagenarian ​in the head, cops and sources said.

The attack unfolded on a No. 1 train approaching the 96th Street station, shown here.
Matthews allegedly attacked an elderly rider who asked him to turn down the music he was playing on a speaker.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

The injured straphanger took pictures of his attackers before they fled, according to sources.

The victim was taken to Mount Sinai Morningside hospital in stable condition and received stitches on his forehead, authorities and sources said.

The suspects stayed on the train and got off at 34th Street, police said. The woman has not been caught. 

Online records show that Matthews was ordered held on $15,000 bail or $30,000 bond in the subway assault. It appears he is still behind bars.

Matthews has more than 25 previous busts on his record — with raps including assault, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal contempt, aggravated harassment and forcible touching, cops said.

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