Brooklyn resident Sam Saia was reportedly assaulted on the New York City subway system after asking a fellow straphanger for more leg room. The attacker has since been jailed, but Saia is now facing a round of death threats from extremists who say she is now getting "a taste of reality and diversity."
According to the New York Daily News, Saia was assaulted by Derek Smith after telling him he was "manspreading" (a nickname given to the way men take up excessive amount of space on subway seats). Smith had launched into a profane tirade during the assault: “B*tch, you ain’t nothing! I’ve raped white b*tches like you, you f*cking c*nt!” he reportedly yelled. A fellow rider rushed to Saia's aid and forcibly ejected Smith from the train.
Video of the incident was caught by other passengers and shared on social media:
Smith was arrested on Saturday and charged on Sunday in Brooklyn Criminal Court with assault, menacing and harassment in the attack. Saia has received unexpected backlash from the incident from trolls who are mocking her left-leaning social media posts. She shared examples of the comments left on her accounts, in which she was called a “race traitor.” One user tweeted that Saia is a “Dumb feminist [getting] a taste of reality and diversity."
“I did what I had to do ... Looking back, I still would have done this,” said Saia. “I just want people to back off at this point. I’d like people to stop calling me a ‘race traitor’ and [saying that] if they’d see me on the street they’d punch me.”
The NYPD is now investigating why Saia was given the runaround when attempting to report the incident, with cops telling her that she was wasting her time. Saia persisted; it took two days for police to apprehend Smith.
Smith had previously been arrested for "sex abuse."
“I’m happy he was arrested,” Saia said. “I’m exhausted.”