In what is believed to be a racially motivated attack, Willie James Hayes has been accused of beating another man unconscious at the Wood Street Light Rail Transit station in Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania.
According to Port Authority police officials, Hayes, 46, was arrested and taken into custody by Port Authority of Allegheny County police. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Haze, a Black male, has been charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault, and ethnic intimidation, according to a criminal complaint. The incident was reported to have occurred last Saturday night at the Wood Street T station.
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
KDKA also details that alleged surveillance video from the train station shows Hayes approaching a white victim, Charles Basarab, on the platform around 9 p.m. As detailed in the complaint, Hayes is then reported to have punched Basarab around three times before throwing the victim onto the tracks.
The criminal complaint further states that Basarab was aided by first responders, who pulled him off the tracks. The victim was reported to have suffered from several broken bones including several ribs, facial bones, and his arm, along with internal bleeding.
The Post-Gazette reports that two witnesses disclosed that Hayes told Basarab, “I (expletive) told you I was going to kill you,” because he was white.
According to the news outlet, Port Authority police revealed the victim was “conscious but very disoriented.” When interviewed by officers, Basarab said he wasn’t sure how he got onto the tracks, but later at the hospital, he told officials he recalled Hayes telling him the attack was “because he was white,” similar to the witness recounts.
Hayes was booked into the Allegheny County Jail Thursday and held on a $50,000. In 2005, he was convicted of felony aggravated assault in Mercer County and has a history of assault-related charges dating back to 2005.