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Man Indicted For Assault Of A Disabled Man In Subway

The hulking brute who allegedly savagely beat a disabled woman at a Manhattan subway station last month told cops he stripped off his belt to “defend himself” against his walker-bound victim before he thrashed her with it, according to the indictment presented in court this week.

Norton Blake, 43, of the Bronx, claimed he had been trying to help 60-year-old Laurell Reynolds up the stairs at the West 116 Street and Lenox Avenue station in Harlem about 3:20 a.m. Sept. 1 when she “fell down the stairs,” the court papers state.

The 6-foot, 200-pound assailant was caught on shocking video using a cane, his belt and his fists to strike Reynolds, who uses a walker, dozens of times on her head, stomach, leg, arms, back and hands.

But he later claimed to police that the diminutive woman had thrown his bags down the stairs, chucked a can of soup at him and then somehow wrestled his cane away from him and tried to hit him with it, the court papers state.

“She broke the cane hitting the turnstiles,” Blake allegedly told officers. “Then I hit her … I didn’t know it was a woman. I hit her a few times on her thighs and legs.”

He also said he “took off his belt to defend himself” against Reynolds, the filing claims.

A grand jury indicted Blake on two counts of assault and one count of attempted assault for the vicious beating — which left Reynolds laid up in Harlem Hospital for two weeks .

The victim is still convalescing in a nursing facility, prosecutors said in Manhattan Supreme Court on Monday, as Blake — wincing and leaning on a cane — was arraigned on the indictment.

“Blake Norton needlessly resorted to violence when he allegedly assaulted a subway rider dozens of times,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement.

“The alleged acts reflect the serious and excessive nature of the assault, as the victim laid helplessly on the ground.”

Blake claimed to be a “man of the Lord” during the outburst.
Blake pleaded not guilty to the charges, which could imprison him for at least three years — or as much as 15, according to prosecutors.

He was being held at the Vernon C. Bain Correctional Center, a jail barge moored on the Bronx’s south shore, across from Rikers Island, on $75,000 bail or $100,000 bond, according to jail records.
Blake struck Reynolds more than 50 times with his cane, his belt and his fists, according to a video taken by an MTA worker.
Obtained by the Post
Norton Blake was nabbed by the NYPD’s warrant squad, sources said.
Obtained by the Post
Norton Blake, seen in an undated Facebook photo, has nine prior arrests, sources said.
Facebook/Norton Blake
Paul D’Emilia, Blake’s defense attorney, argued in court that his client had only been trying to help Reynolds, who he claimed “probably has some kind of drug or mental health issues.”

“There are facts that are divergent from what we believe happened,” D’Emilia told the judge.

“My client is disabled,” he continued. “[Reynolds], in fact, wrestled the cane away from him and starting hitting him with the cane initially … there’s two sides to this, but we can deal with that later.”

He asked the court to release Blake ahead of his trial because he suffers from anxiety and depression and is not getting the treatment he needs.

Justice Laura Ward said she would consider putting Blake on electronically monitored home arrest — but not until she reads through the grand jury’s notes.

An MTA worker filmed the disturbing attack, which showed Blake screaming at Reynolds as he beat her.

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