Subway attacker sentenced to 22 years in prison for attempted murder of commuter in unprovoked attack in Howard Beach: DA

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Waheed Foster was sentenced to 22 years in prison for the attempted murder of a 33-year-old woman inside a Howard Beach subway station in September 2022.
Photo courtesy of NYC Crime

A homeless man who viciously beat a 33-year-old woman in an unprovoked attack inside a Howard Beach subway station in September 2022 was sentenced to 22 years in prison on Monday in Queens Supreme Court.

Waheed Foster, 43, pleaded guilty to attempted murder in the second degree on June 6, for the random attack that shocked the city.

According to the charges, at approximately 5:30 a.m. on Sep. 20, 2022, Foster followed 33-year-old Elizabeth Gomes as she got off a train at the Howard Beach/JFK Airport subway station 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 before 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.

Photo courtesy of NYC Crime

Another commuter 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. 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.

“A 33-year-old woman was simply on her way to work when Waheed Foster, without any warning, smashed her head with an object, pummeled her in the head with his fists, and kicked her in the face repeatedly,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said. “A good Samaritan tried to intervene during the attack but was chased by the assailant, who then resumed his vicious onslaught. It’s a miracle she’s alive today after the brutal attack she endured.”

Foster was sentenced by Queens Supreme Court Justice Ira Margulis to 22 years imprisonment, to be followed by five years post-release supervision.

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.