The 69-year-old man who was attacked at the Eastern Market Metro station last month says the man who knocked him down on the escalator initially shoved him while getting off a train and asked the victim if he wanted to take the dispute outside.
Police arrested 19-year-old Elijah Smith of Silver Spring, Maryland, Monday night, Metro Transit Police said.
Albert Langeberg told police Smith shoved him as they exited an Orange Line train April 24.
"He came from the seat across from behind me and pushed me out the door and said, 'Get out of the way, old man,' and that's when I told him that he was a disgrace to the human race," Langeberg said. "He said, 'Do you want to take this outside?' I said, 'Sure.'"
Langeberg said he intended, instead, to get a station manager, but moments later on the escalator, Smith spit in his face and punched him in the face three times, knocking him down, Langeberg said.
The attack was captured on surveillance video.
Police say this isn’t Smith’s first brush with the law. He is currently on probation for robbing a Silver Spring actor after a May 2014 performance. The attack left the actor in the hospital.
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If Smith is convicted in this most recent assault, he may face a tougher punishment, as D.C. law allows for enhanced penalties if a victim is over 65, police said.