FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 3, 2017
Flatbush Man Indicted for Assault as a Hate Crime for Allegedly Beating Woman Unconscious on Subway Train
Faces Up To 15 Years in Prison
Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced today that a 27-year-old man has been indicted on charges of assault as a hate crime, and other offenses for allegedly punching a woman in the face and knocking her unconscious while shouting homophobic slurs on a Brooklyn-bound Q train.
Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “Brooklyn is a model of inclusion and diversity where bias and bigotry will not be tolerated. This defendant’s alleged actions were an attack on everyone’s right to be who they are, and to love whom they choose. He will now be held accountable for this alleged attack that left a woman unconscious.”
The Acting District Attorney identified the defendant as Antoine Thomas, 27, of Flatbush, Brooklyn. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Neil Firetog on an indictment in which he is charged with second-degree assault as a hate crime, third-degree assault as a hate crime and other related offenses. He is due back in court on September 8, 2017 and faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of the top count.
The Acting District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on May 20, 2017, at approximately 7:30 p.m., the defendant boarded a Brooklyn-bound Q train at Union Square, and sat next to the victim and her girlfriend. The defendant, it is alleged, began shouting anti-gay slurs at the victim and her female companion regarding their sexual orientation. During the train ride the defendant continued shouting at the couple, and at one point aggressively bumped into the victim when the train made a sudden stop. The defendant then allegedly punched the victim in the face as the train arrived at the Dekalb Avenue station in Downtown Brooklyn.
The defendant attempted to leave the train by walking between cars, but was arrested at the station after the conductor called the police.
The unconscious victim was taken to New York Presbyterian Hospital where she was treated for a concussion, nasal fracture, a contusion and eye lacerations requiring eight stitches.
The case was investigated by New York City Police Department Detective John Hidalgo and Detective Juan Espaillat of the Hate Crimes Task Force.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney T. Peter Choi, of the District Attorney’s Civil Rights Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Kelli M. Muse, Deputy Bureau Chief, and the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney Patricia McNeill, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Investigations Division.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt