NEW YORK - Police are investigating after a pregnant woman was kicked in the stomach during a subway scuffle in Lower Manhattan Thursday morning.
The incident happened just after 8:30 a.m. on a northbound No. 4 train at the Bowling Green station.
Authorities say the 28-year-old victim, who sources say is nine months pregnant, was on the train, holding onto the pole when the suspect got on and bumped into her.
The victim then pushed the suspect, who fell down. Police say he stood back up and kicked the victim twice in the stomach.
"Most of the passengers, 'what's wrong with you? Are you crazy? She's pregnant!'" said Janice an eyewitness.
Janice says she was on that northbound 4 train at the Bowling Green stop, when 40 year-old Michael Lee allegedly kicked the 28-year-old pregnant woman.
According to her and cops, it was just after 8:30 a.m., when a bump and a shove, went way over the top.
Janice says it looked like Lee didn't see the woman at first, so she gently pushed him away asking for space.
"He pushes her hand away and he ends up hitting her. He ends up hitting her arm or chest," Janice said. "I think this is where she snapped, she ends up holding on to his collar, his back is still facing her so once she has her hands on his collar this is where she turns around and she ends, her hands end up on his head."
Janice says then things spiraled.
Lee is now facing the woman, backing up trying to get away from her, but she's holding onto him still, and he falls.
She ends up holding onto him, on top of him.
"So when she's hunched over him, this is when he kicks her and the kick, since she's over him diagonally, the kick lands on her stomach, right on the bottom of her belly," Janice said.
Janice says a Good Samaritan immediately jumped in, shielding her.
The Staten Island man then gets up off the floor, and tells fellow riders, he did not know she was pregnant.
"Even though her jacket was zipped up, you can tell she was pregnant, her belly popped out," Janice said.
The victim was rushed to a nearby hospital where she was treated and released.
Lee, of Staten Island, is now charged with second- and third-degree assault, as well as reckless endangerment.
The investigation is ongoing.