A Massachusetts man accused of slamming a brick into the face of a stranger on a commuter rail platform is behind bars, accused of a hate crime his attorney said may have been prompted by Donald Trump's comments.
Prosecutors said 49-year-old Stephen Fusco of Malden asked a Hispanic man if he spoke English and where he was from while at North Station back in August.
"When he replied 'Mexico,' Mr. Fusco took the brick and slammed it into the face of the victim," Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Christina Miller said.
Fortunately, Keolis employees were able to detain Fusco down before the victim fell on to the tracks.
Fusco pleaded not guilty to charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, violation of constitutional rights and assault and battery for the purpose of intimidation.
His attorney, Arbold Abelow, said his client needs help he cannot get in jail for mental health issues. He also said Fusco's behavior may have been inspired by comments Donald Trump made while campaigning.
"His mental health problems on that night might have been exacerbated by what the president-elect was saying about people from Mexico," Abelow said.
Fusco was held on $20,000 bail. His trial is tentatively set for September.