Police have released video and photos of a shockingly horrific hammer attack in a New York City subway station.
A 57-year-old woman was attacked while walking down the steps of the Queens Plaza station in Long Island City around 11:20 p.m. on Thursday, according to police.
Video shows the suspect stalk Nina Rothschild from behind before pushing her to the ground and smashing her in the head with a hammer at many as 13 times, WABC-TV reported. The assailant snatched the purse from the bludgeoned woman and fled the crime scene.
During a press conference on Friday, New York Police Department Chief of Detectives James Essig said the suspect is a 6-foot-tall male holding a cane wearing a dark jacket and blue jeans.
NYPD released new photos of the suspect on Friday.
(WARNING: Graphic video)
Rothschild – a senior health scientist for the New York City Department of Health – suffered a fractured skull and lacerations to the head within 15 minutes of leaving work. She is hospitalized and in stable condition.
The victim's brother – Gerson Rothschild – spoke with his sister on Friday morning at the hospital, where she is recovering from surgery.
"From what she told me on the phone, she was just walking down the steps to get into the subway on the way home from work when she was attacked by somebody from behind," Gerson said. "She apparently remembers all of that and she kept screaming, 'stop, stop' but the person either wouldn't stop, I don't remember exactly what she said, but ultimately grabbed the bag with the cellphone and the personal papers and apparently some jewelry and ran off with it."
Mayor Eric Adams declared that he is "really angry" that a city employee was assaulted while walking to the subway.
"You know, a robbery in itself is a traumatizing event. The person was just brutal," Adams said on Friday, according to NY1. "And you know often here… people want to lean into the long term plan of dealing with, of not allowing the feeders of violence to happen, which is important, and I talk about it all the time, but darn it, we need to deal with those who are on our streets right now, that are dangerous, that are violent, that have a total disregard, and I’m not going to surrender that."
"A woman taking the train should not be struck in the head with a hammer, repeatedly, and for us to believe that dangerous people like that in some corners, that we need to say because they are in pain they should inflict pain, I don’t subscribe to that," Adams continued. "We need to catch him. He needs to be incarcerated. And whoever is causing violence on our streets and our subways, while we give them the emotional help they need, we need to get them off our streets."
"Violence against any New Yorker is unacceptable but an attack of a city worker who has dedicated her work to keeping people safe is particularly horrific," the New York City mayor wrote on Twitter. "The NYPD will bring this perpetrator to justice. If you have any information, please contact them immediately."
Anyone with any information on the hammer attack is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip via their website or via DM on Twitter, @NYPDTips. All calls are kept confidential.
(WARNING: Graphic video)
Queens subway hammer attack www.youtube.com