A Manhattan man was sentenced to 18 years to life in prison Saturday for robbery and aggravated harassment as a hate crime for a 2020 attack inside the Jamaica Long Island Rail Road station, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.
Kevin Carroll, 39, of 104th Street, was found guilty of the charges after a two-week-long jury trial in January before Queens Supreme Court Justice John Zoll, who sentenced Carroll to 18 years to life as a mandatory persistent felony offender.
The defendant’s criminal history includes a 2000 conviction for attempted robbery of a 15-year-old and a 2003 conviction for the attempted aggravated assault of a police officer who approached him as he panhandled in the subway. When the female officer asked him for identification, Carroll body slammed her onto the platform and tried to shove her onto the tracks as a train entered the station.
According to trial testimony, on July 22, 2020, Carroll approached the victim, a 40-year-old doctor on the platform of the LIRR Jamaica train station, and asked him for a dollar. The victim, who was wearing medical scrub pants, replied that he did not have a dollar. Carroll then became angry and began to threaten the man.
Carroll threw a water bottle and then left. But moments later, the defendant returned, telling the man that he found a dollar and threw it at him. At this point, Carroll yelled a homophobic slur about the victim’s attire and the doctor told him that he was gay.
Upon hearing that the victim was gay, Katz said, the defendant became enraged, repeatedly referred to the victim by a homophobic slur, and shouted to a man on the opposite platform that the victim was “worse than his girl,” according to the charges.
Suddenly, Carroll allegedly attacked the man, punching him in the face and knocking him to the platform surface, where the victim lost consciousness. The defendant then took the victim’s cellphone along with his gym bag and fled the scene. Video surveillance at the station captured the defendant minutes before the attack as well as afterward.
The victim sustained a lasting injury to his retina which has permanently affected his vision. Carroll was arrested two days later on a different matter and was identified by the arresting officer after viewing the surveillance video from the LIRR station.
“Our office successfully prosecuted the defendant after he targeted a man waiting for a train at the Long Island Rail Road Jamaica train station in July 2020 and hurled homophobic insults and slurs and then robbed the victim,” Katz said. “Hate has no place in Queens. A jury weighed the evidence presented at trial and found the defendant guilty. Today, a judge ordered him to prison as punishment for his hateful actions.”