Homeless man pleads guilty to attempted murder for the 2022 savage beating of a Queens mom at a subway station: DA

A homeless man pleaded guilty to attempted murder for the brutal beating of a mother at the Howard Beach/JFK Airport subway station that shook the city in 2022.
Photo courtesy of NYC Crime

A homeless man pleaded guilty to attempted murder in Queens Supreme Court on Thursday for the horrific beating of a mother at a Howard Beach subway station in 2022.

The victim, who was on her way to work at the time of the unprovoked attack, underwent emergency surgery for her injuries, which resulted in the loss of her right eye.

Waheed Foster, 44, pleaded guilty before Queens Supreme Court Justice Ira Margulis and is expected to be sentenced to 22 years in prison.

“The brutality and random nature of this attack is unconscionable,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said.

According to the charges, on the morning of Sep. 20, 2022, Foster followed 33-year-old Elizabeth Gomes as she got off a train at the Howard Beach/JFK Airport subway station at around 5:30 a.m. on her way to work. While she was walking up the stairs to reach the main platform, Foster ran up from behind and struck her in the head with a hard object without any provocation. Video surveillance footage showed Gomes running for her life through the station when Foster caught up to her and threw her to the floor in front of a toll booth, where he punched her repeatedly. Several moments later, when Gomes began to get off the floor, Foster kicked her in the face, knocking her back down and the savage beating resumed.

A Good Samaritan is seen in the video attempting to intervene, but he was chased away by Foster, who landed more blows until Gomes lost consciousness. Foster eventually walked away, leaving his victim on the floor in a pool of blood.

Photo courtesy of NYC Crime

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

Foster had a violent history and was 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.

“My office will not allow a small number of violent individuals to undermine the sense of safety for the millions of New Yorkers who depend on the subway every day,” Katz said.

Foster was found to be mentally competent to stand trial before he was arraigned in January.

“After building such a strong case against this defendant, we are looking to provide a measure of closure for the survivor, who suffered such serious injuries,” Katz said.

Justice Margulis is expected to sentence Foster to 22 years imprisonment followed by five years post-release supervision on June 24.