NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Right hat, wrong guy.
After a subway rider was pushed onto the tracks at the Union Square Station Sunday, police launched a search for the suspect described as a black male wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat and matching t-shirt.
As CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, police believed they might have their man Monday morning when some witnesses spotted Harold “Tubby” Augustus wearing a brand new red cap on the Upper East Side.
“I understood it was the hat. That’s what it really came down to, because is this rare? To see an African American wearing a Trump hat? But you know, he’s our president, you gotta love him,” Augustus said.
The Long Island car salesman said he was getting a manicure on 90th Street off Second Avenue when police swarmed the salon.
“It was very scary. There had to been over 20 cops,” he said. “They came in and said, ‘Do you have a red hat?’ I’m like, ‘yeah.’ So I showed it to them and they said, ‘that’s him.’”
Augustus said the officers cleared him after checking his driver’s license and making a few phone calls. They also apologized.
The real suspect is still on the run.
According to reports of the incident from Sunday, the actual suspect allegedly hurled racist slurs at a 24-year-old Hispanic man.
When they got off the train at Union Square, police say he punched him in the head several times then pushed him onto the tracks.
The victim’s friend and another person helped him get back up on the platform, after which he was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for a minor head wound.
Andres Lopez said the victim was his 24-year-old brother. He said the suspect accused his brother of taking jobs away from Americans and made derogatory comments about Hispanics.
“The guy’s a pure scumbag. I hope you all have a picture of him and you get who this guy is,” said Augustus.
Investigators describe the suspect as a black man with a dark complexion and heavyset build. He was last seen wearing a read “MAGA” hat with blue dungarees, a black three-quarter length jacket, and jewelry around his neck.