Jay Reist Columbia graduate NYC subway attack leaves aspiring actor on life support as cops seek to discover how or why he was apparently attacked while returning from a night out on the town.
Jay Reist, 29, was fighting for his life at New York Presbyterian Hospital in Washington Heights after he was allegedly struck in the head with an object last Friday in an unprovoked attack by a mystery assailant.
Surveillance video showed Reist exiting a subway station 15th street and 8th Avenue around 2 a.m. before getting into an Uber.
He started seizing while in the rideshare, prompting the driver to take him to the hospital, where he remains on a ventilator, WABC-TV reports.
Wrong place at the wrong time?
Reist went out for drinks with friends in the Lower East Side on Thursday. He had been partying at Dream Baby on Avenue B before his injury.
He was last seen in stable condition leaving the subway station early Friday morning.
His mother, Louise Reist, suspects her aspiring actor son was attacked somewhere along the L line stops in Manhattan.
‘I think that Jay was at the wrong place at the wrong time,’ she told NBC 4.
Louise said she knew something had happened to Reist after he failed to return to their Inwood home and wasn’t answering her text messages.
‘I called his number and a nurse answered the phone!’ the mother recalled.
The concerned mom said she found her son at the hospital where he was intubated and battling a brain injury.
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Attacked because of his sexuality…?
‘He’s just lying in bed needing machines to help him live,’ Louise said, adding that she is really angry about what happened to Reist.
‘I am not at all hating humanity, I have more gratitude now than I’ve had in a long time because of the way people are taking care of us,’ she said. ‘There is just an angry person out there.’
‘He’s gay and genderqueer, so we don’t know if it was related to that,’ the victim’s sister, Lisa Reist told CBS News. ‘He dances. He acts. He just has so much talent. He’s a really supportive sibling, like, we’re really close.”
To date, Reist is breathing with the aid of a ventilator and has yet to open his eyes following last week’s mystery attack.
Police haven’t said why and how Jay ended up severely injured, nor what could have caused it.
Resit’s acting class created a GoFundMe to help raise money for his medical expenses. As of Thursday afternoon, it had earned more than $79,764.
Detectives are canvassing for video. The family says police believe he was attacked at some point in the subway system. They hope people who may have seen him that night comes forward.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).