PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Police say they have charged a man accused of beating up and shoving another man onto the tracks at the Wood Street T Station “because he was white.”
Willie Hayes is facing a number of charges in the alleged incident, including ethnic intimidation, attempted homicide and aggravated assault.
The criminal complaint says the victim told investigators from the hospital that he remembered the suspect saying “he was assaulting him because he was white.”
This is Willie Hayes. He is behind bars tonight after police believe he threatened to kill a man because of his race, then allegedly threw him onto the tracks at the Wood Street T station. The full story at 6. pic.twitter.com/LJkhhu8zLm
— Amy Wadas (@AmyWadas) May 30, 2019
According to police, it happened just before 9 p.m. on Saturday night in the Wood Street station in downtown Pittsburgh.
When officers arrived at the scene they found the victim, identified as Charles Basarab, lying on the T tracks. He was “conscious but very disoriented.”
The criminal complaint reports two witness told police officers that “Basarab was assaulted and then thrown onto the trolley tracks by an unknown black male” who then ran off.
According to the criminal complaint, the witnesses said after the alleged assault, Hayes allegedly walked over to the edge of the platform, looked down and said, “I [expletive] told you I was going to kill you.”
Police say surveillance video from the T station shows the suspect punching Basarab three times, and then shoving him and throwing him onto the tracks.
Basarab hit the right side of his head against the tracks and was knocked unconscious.
He was taken to a local hospital for treatment of numerous broken bones, bruises, cuts and facial injuries. He also had surgery due to internal bleeding.
Meanwhile, police say they were able to identify Hayes through surveillance video from the Rivers Casino, which is where he was before the alleged assault.
The SWAT team demanded Hayes come out of his Sharpsburg home early Thursday morning.
Hayes was arrested and taken to jail. He will make his first appearance in court in June after he was unable to post bail.
Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.