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Man beaten, robbed during beef over vaping on R train in Dutch Kills: NYPD

Cops are looking for this suspect who allegedly punched out and robbed an R train rider after he grew agitated while the victim was vaping. (Photo courtesy of the NYPD)

Sept. 8, 2023 By Bill Parry

An R train rider was beaten and robbed in Dutch Kills on Sept. 5 after a dispute over vaping escalated into violence, according to the NYPD.

The incident occurred just after 4 p.m., as the 36-year-old victim was sitting on a southbound R train when a stranger told him to stop using his vape.

Police from the 114th Precinct in Astoria and Transit District 20 reported that an argument broke out between the two men and the assailant proceeded to punch the victim in the face. When the train pulled into the 36th Street station, both the victim and his attacker spilled out onto the platform where his attacker continued the beatdown striking him multiple times in the head, police said.

The suspect then forcibly removed $200 in cash before running off on Northern Boulevard to parts unknown.

The victim sustained a laceration to his head and EMS transported him to Elmhurst Hospital where he was stitched up and listed in stable condition.

Through Sept. 3, the 114th Precinct has reported 333 assaults so far in 2023, nine fewer than the 342 cases tallied at the same point last year, according to the most recent CompStat reports, representing a 2.6% decrease. There have been 179 robberies in the confines of the 114th Precinct so far this year, 19 more than the 160 robbery cases at the same point last year, an increase of 11.9%, according to CompStat.

The NYPD released a surveillance photo of the assailant on Sept. 8.

He is believed to be approximately 25 years old, 6 feet tall and 160 pounds with a dark complexion, thin build, brown eyes, black hair, a beard and mustache. He was last seen wearing a red durag, a black tank top, pink shorts, and blue and white sneakers.

Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.

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