Homeless man found fit to stand trial for brutal beating in Queens subway station that left woman blind in one eye: DA

Homeless man Waheed Foster was captured on video savagely beating a woman at a Howard Beach subway station in 2022
Photo courtesy of NYC Crime

A 43-year-old homeless man was found fit to stand trial and was arraigned in Queens Supreme Court Monday on an indictment charging him with attempted murder in connection with a violent and unprovoked attack that left a subway rider in Howard Beach blind in one eye, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

Photo courtesy of NYC Crime

Waheed Foster, who faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted, is accused of attacking 33-year-old Elizabeth Gomes soon after she got off the train at the Howard Beach/JFK Airport subway station on her way to work at approximately 5:30 a.m. on Sept. 20, 2022.

According to the charges, Foster allegedly followed Gomes off the train—and up a flight of stairs—before coming up from behind and striking her in the head with a hard object.

As seen on video surveillance footage, Gomes fled, running through the station. Foster chased after her and threw her to the ground after catching up to her. As Gomes lay on the ground, Foster punched her in the face repeatedly and stomped on her head. As Gomes began to get up off the ground, Foster kicked her in the face, knocking the victim back down. Foster then repeatedly kicked her in the face.

A Good Samaritan is seen on video attempting to intervene before he was chased away by Foster who landed some more blows until Gomes lost consciousness.

Eventually, Foster walked away from the victim, leaving her on the floor in a pool of blood.

EMS responded to the scene and rushed Gomes to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center where she underwent emergency eye surgery. As a result of her injuries, she lost sight in her right eye.

“The brutality and especially the randomness of the attack shook the city and struck fear in the millions of New Yorkers who depend on the subway system every day,” Katz said. “It is essential to keep confidence in our public transit systems high. That means holding accountable anyone who undermines passenger safety and security.”

Foster was indicted in September 2022 for attempted murder, several counts of assault and weapons possession. He was arraigned on those charges Monday before Queens Supreme Court Justice Ira Margulis who ordered him to return to court on April 9.

Foster is no stranger to law enforcement having been arrested for beating his 82-year-old foster grandmother to death at the age of 14. He had also been arrested for allegedly stabbing his 21-year-old sister with a screwdriver. Foster was on parole for attacking workers at the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center at the time of the attack on Gomes.