NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police have released the name of the man they believe has attacked at least three people with a hammer in New York City subway stations.
The suspect is Anthony Coward, 28, police said. He is described as a 28-year-old black man with black hair and brown eyes, standing 6 feet, 1 inch tall and weighing about 160 pounds.
On Wednesday, Coward allegedly attacked 32-year-old Richianand Brijanand, of Ozone Park, with a hammer and robbed him as the victim tried to buy a Metro Card at the Fulton Street and Rockaway Avenue station in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Brijanand told CBS 2’s John Slattery he was lucky the hammer blow to his head wasn’t more serious.
“I’m feeling, like, swelling — a lot of swelling,” Brijanand said Thursday. “It swells from here, all the way up here, to the bottom here.” He pointed to his right ear, his right temple and the side of his right eye.
“I went up to the machine trying to make my purchase, and all of a sudden he just hit me right in the head — boom,” Brijanand said, adding that he did not see it coming.
Brijanand said it was then that he got a look at the attacker.
“I just spun around, and when I turned around, he held the hammer again to frighten me,” Brijanand said. “He said, ‘Give me your money — after he hit me.”
Brijanand said as the thief took $140 from his wallet, he was able to get a good look at the man and his hammer.
The victim was taken to the hospital where he was treated for a head injury and released. He said with his face swollen, it is hard for him to eat.
Police believe two earlier incidents are related to the Wednesday morning attack – one in a residential neighborhood in Queens, the other the same Brooklyn subway station.
Around 7 a.m. March 5, a 26-year-old pregnant woman was hit from behind in the head with a hammer at 138-49 Pershing Crescent in Briarwood, Queens. Her handbag was stolen, and she was taken to Jamaica Hospital Center, police said.
And this past Sunday, a 23-year-old man was knocked to the ground and beaten with a hammer, again at the Rockaway Avenue A and C train station in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. The suspect took the man’s wallet, police said.
Authorities are asking anyone with information about the robberies to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-8477 or to submit a tip online at NYPDCrimeStoppers.com. All communications are kept confidential.
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