Springfield Gardens man criminally charged for bloody assault on board LIRR train in southeast Queens: NYPD

A Springfield Gardens man was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court Tuesday for attacking a fellow rider on board an LIRR train entering the Locust Manor station on Monday afternoon.
Photo courtesy of the MTA

A Springfield Gardens man was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on Tuesday for the bloody attack on a fellow passenger on board a Long Island Rail Road train that was pulling into the Locust Manor train station, located in southeast Queens, on Monday afternoon.

Benneth Ekwegbalu, 32, of 183rd Street was criminally charged with assault and other crimes for allegedly slashing a 27-year-old man in his face during a violent frenzy that occurred just before 4 p.m. as the train approached the station, according to the criminal complaint.

The incident went down on the Atlantic Line 3:22 p.m. train from Grand Central to Far Rockaway and began with a dispute as Ekwegbalu stood in the doorway of the train at the Jamaica transit hub. The victim bumped into him as he got on the train and the two exchanged words before the 27-year-old found a seat in the middle of the train car. Ekwegbalu jumped him and pulled out a boxcutter that he used to slash him across the left side of his face before another rider intervened.

Two off-duty NYPD detectives who were standing on the platform as the train pulled into the station sprung into action and took Ekwegbalu into custody, according to the MTA.

“Weapons have no place on trains, and we are grateful for the rapid response of the NYPD officers who kept passengers safe and arrested the perpetrator,” MTA Spokeswoman Meghan Keenan said.

The victim suffered a laceration to his face that was several inches long and was adjacent to his left eye, according to the criminal complaint.

EMS responded to the crime scene and rushed the victim to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center where he was listed in stable condition and received nine stitches to close the wound that caused substantial pain and permanent scarring, according to the complaint.

Ekwegbalu was charged with assault, menacing, criminal possession of a weapon and harassment. He was ordered to return to court on Apr. 4.

Through Mar. 17, the NYPD 113th Precinct, where the crime occurred, has reported 85 assaults so far this year, 16 more than the 69 reported at the same point last year, an increase of 23.2%, according to the most recent CompStat report.