Queens subway pipe attack: Deranged man sought for bashing straphanger in head

Suspect in Queens pipe attack at subway station with train pulling away
The suspect (inset) behind a violent pipe attack at the Queens Plaza subway station on Feb. 17, 2024.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons, GeneralPunger/Inset courtesy of NYPD

Police in Queens are looking for the pipe-wielding perpetrator who bashed a man’s head at a subway station early on Saturday morning.

The NYPD released images of the suspect behind the bloody assault that occurred at about 12:54 a.m. on Feb. 17 inside the Queens Plaza subway station on the E, M and R lines in Long Island City.

It was the second violent assault to occur at the Queens Plaza station in three days. On Thursday, an unidentified suspect slashed a Spanish tourist in the neck inside the station’s mezzanine; the victim was hospitalized in stable condition.

As for Saturday’s attack, law enforcement sources said the assailant approached the victim, a 31-year-old man, near the turnstiles and the two men quickly became engaged in a verbal dispute. Police sources said the reason for the argument was not yet known.

Seconds later, police reported, the perpetrator pulled out a metal pipe and went on the attack. He repeatedly struck the victim’s head multiple times with the pipe, then ran away on foot to parts unknown.

The incident was reported to the 108th Precinct and NYPD Transit District 20. EMS rushed the wounded man, who suffered numerous head lacerations, to NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, where he was listed in stable condition.

Police described the assailant as a man with a dark complexion, a beard and a medium build, believed to be between 40 and 50 years of age, and standing about 5 feet, 9 inches tall. He was last seen wearing a skull cap, a gray hooded jacket, dark gray jeans and tan work boots.

Queens subway pipe attack suspect
Photo courtesy of NYPD

Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts can call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (for Spanish, dial 888-57-PISTA). You can also submit tips online at crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, or on X (the platform formerly known as Twitter) @NYPDTips. All calls and messages are kept confidential.

Subway crime increased in January, the NYPD reported, but the surge was largely attributed to property crimes such as robbery and grand larceny, which accounted for 72.6% of the more than 200 criminal incidents reported in the system between Jan. 1-28. There were, however, 53 felony assaults during the period, up from 40 recorded at the same point in 2023.