The “problem kid” charged in a suspected knockout-game attack on a 62-year-old Bronx straphanger claimed the vicious assault was in self-defense, court papers show — as he was ordered held on $20,000 bail.
Deshaun Smith, 21, is charged with assault, harassment and reckless endangerment for allegedly punching the unsuspecting victim and knocking him onto the tracks at the 149th Street station Sunday night, according to police.
According to a criminal complaint, Smith allegedly slugged the straphanger in the head out of nowhere while the victim was waiting for a No. 4 train — then shoved him onto the subway tracks.
Smith claimed self-defense to authorities, according to new court papers. He was ordered held on $20,000 bail at his Bronx arraignment early Tuesday.
“Is it looking bad for me?” Smith allegedly asked cops of the case, according to the complaint. “My thing is, he said something to me inappropriate first. I was defending myself. Can I just say one thing before I get inside? I was defending myself.
Why am I in trouble? Why are you doing this? I don’t have a record,” he said. “Am I getting booked for this? I did push him.”
Prosecutors weren’t buying it.
The victim’s wife has told The Post that her husband was minding his own business on his way to work when he was struck in the unprovoked attack, which police sources said may have been part of the twisted online “knockout game” challenge targeting strangers.
“There are crazy people on the subway,” she said Monday. “This is life now, the way the city’s going. The subways are just crazy now.
“I have to say, whoever did this is a frickin’ animal, in my mind,” she railed. “He should be off the street. These people only attack someone they think can’t fight back.”
She said two good Samaritans helped her battered husband back onto the platform.
Smith, who lives in Williamsburg, was previously arrested Oct. 6 for allegedly snatching a 51-year-old woman’s keys and injuring her hand, police said. Police described the incident as a domestic dispute, and he was released without bail in that case after being charged with harassment, criminal mischief and menacing.
A worker at Smith’s Brooklyn building said the victim was his own mother.
“You don’t touch your mother like that. When I asked him why he did this, he told me, ‘I have problems,’ ” the worker said.
“He’s been a problem in this building, a problem kid. He’s just been so angry, angry for about two months. He doesn’t want to talk to anyone,” the worker added of Smith.
Police said Smith fled the Bronx subway station after Sunday’s attack but that he was eventually tracked down by cops and taken into custody on Monday.
He is currently being held at the Eric M. Taylor Center on Riker’s Island, records show.