Suspect in Custody in Skull-Fracturing Pipe Smash on NYC Subway: Police

What to Know

  • An attacker struck a man in the head with a metal pipe and fractured his skull after the two got into a fight on the subway, police said
  • The 59-year-old victim was riding a southbound No. 2 train near the Chambers Street station when the attack happened
  • The victim was taken to the hospital in serious but stable condition with a fractured skull and broken eye socket

A suspect is in custody in the pipe attack on a Manhattan subway that left a man hospitalized with a fractured skull, authorities said Monday.

Geovannie Nieves, a 35-year-old man from Brooklyn, was taken into custody Sunday night, a day after the 59-year-old victim was bashed in the head with a metal pipe during an argument on a southbound No. 2 train in Manhattan. 

Nieves apologized while he was led from the police station in handcuffs Monday, saying it was a misunderstanding. 

"I'm sorry... I didn't mean it to happen," he said.

Police said he was panhandling just before the attack. Video provided by the NYPD shows the attacker arguing with the man and gesticulating before preparing to take a swing at his head with the pipe. He got off the train at the Chambers Street station, but was later apprehended.

Nieves lives in a homeless shelter in Brooklyn, police said. 

The 59-year-old victim, Michael Van Sluytman, was taken to Bellevue Hospital in serious but stable condition, where he was treated for a fractured skull and a broken eye socket, the NYPD said.

Nieves was charged with assault with a weapon, a felony. It wasn't immediately clear if he had retained an attorney.

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