What to Know
- A suspect is in custody in a violent beating of a 78-year-old woman on the subway, police say
- A video of the attack shows a man kicking the seemingly older woman repeatedly in the head and face as she was seated
- The video also shows some riders capturing the horrific incident on their phones, but no one helping her
The man facing an assault charge in connection to an attack on a homeless woman on a New York City subway train claims she threatened him with a knife.
The court-appointed attorney for Marc Gomez made the claims at the 36-year-old's arraignment early Sunday in Bronx Criminal Court, the New York Post reports.
Gomez, of Yonkers, had been arrested Saturday in connection to the March 10 encounter, which was caught on video.
The clip showed the 78-year-old woman being punched and kicked on a Bronx train around 3 a.m. She was treated for cuts, bleeding and swelling.
Attorney Steven Mechanic says his client insists she threatened to stab him, and displayed some kind of sharp instrument.
Gomez was ordered to be held.
Chief of Detectives Dermot F. Shea tweeted on Saturday afternoon that the suspect was in custody.
He also said the victim was treated and released from the hospital. She was getting the "care, advocacy and support needed," he said.
The beatdown happened shortly after 3 p.m. on a northbound No. 2 train March 10 as the subway pulled into the 238th Street/Nereid Avenue subway station, according to the NYPD.
Disturbing video shows a man repeatedly kicking the woman in the head, face and chest area as she tries to block the blows with her arms from her seat. The video shows some riders recording the horrifying attack, but no one helping her.
The suspect ultimately got off the train at the 238th Street stop and fled on foot, while the woman was left cradling her head in her hand.
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The victim suffered from bleeding and swelling with cuts to the face.
The MTA released a statement Friday condemning the attack.
"This is an extremely disturbing video. Nothing is more important than the safety and security of our customers, and we strongly condemn this despicable attack," a spokeswoman said. "The NYPD is actively investigating this incident and we will offer any and all assistance we can provide."