Crime in New York: Woman brutally beaten in Howard Beach subway station describes pain and trauma

HOWARD BEACH, Queens (WABC) — Police have arrested a man in a brutal assault inside a Queens subway station that was caught on surveillance video.

It happened around 5:15 a.m. on Tuesday, September 20 at the Howard Beach-JFK airport station.

Authorities say a 33-year-old woman was approached by a man who tried to strike up a conversation and then followed her up the mezzanine.

When the woman did not respond and ignored the advances, police say the man dragged her to the mezzanine floor and shoved her against the wall, where he punched her repeatedly with his fists and kicked him in the face and body.

A passer-by tried to intervene but retreated to the platform when the man advanced towards him.

The attacker then kicked and punched the woman several times before fleeing.

The police intervened and arrested the suspect.

The victim, who appears to be a security guard, was taken to Jamaica Hospital where he was treated for a serious but non-life-threatening eye injury.

“Do you know how scared I am now? I’ve never been one to be scared,” victim Elizabeth Gomes said.

She said her head was throbbing in pain and she had hardly slept for a week since the attack.

“Honestly, I can’t see anything on my right side. And it just hurts,” Gomes said.

She says the suspect muttered incoherently about “Satan” in the moments leading up to the attack.

“He talks about the devil. He talks about a whole bunch of nonsense,” Gomes said.

Gomes’ husband is heartbroken and furious.

“Man, I watched the video, and it broke my heart,” Clement Tucker said.

The suspect, Waheed Foster, 41, is now charged with felony assault.

In 1995, law enforcement sources claim Foster was arrested for the murder of his 82-year-old adoptive grandmother in a brutal beating when he was 14. Six years later, he was arrested for stabbing his 21-year-old sister with a screwdriver. Then in 2010, he was arrested for attacking three workers at the Creedmore psychiatric facility, where he was hospitalized. He was on parole until November 2024 at the time of last week’s attack.

Gomes says there were no police in the station. She said there was no one to prevent the attack and no one on the scene to respond.

“Every day is an incident on the subway,” she said. “What happened to all those policemen they said would be there to protect us? There’s no one to be found. I don’t understand.”

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