Man arrested for vicious hammer attack on New York scientist that provoked anger over subway safety


The man believed to be responsible for viciously attacking a “hero” city health worker with a hammer in New York has been arrested, according to police.

William Blount, 57, was arrested on Sunday and faces charges including attempted murder, robbery and assault.

The attack took place on Thursday evening and left Nina Rothschild, 57, critically injured at a subway station in Queens.

Ms Rothschild, a research scientist with the New York City Health Department, was returning home after finishing her work day when she was attacked by an individual with a hammer sometime around 11:20pm.

Police said that Mr Blount has a criminal history, with at least six arrests on his record including some for robbery and criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Security footage obtained by law enforcement reportedly shows Mr Blount stalking Ms Rothschild as she was preparing to enter the subway station. Mr Blount allegedly sneaks up and kicks Ms Rothschild. He then allegedly begins to beat her with her hammer, fracturing her skull.

Dr Nina Rothschild, a scientist with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, was brutally attacked on the city’s subway

(Columbia University)

The footage ends with the individual running off with her pocketbook, as well as two cellphones, her debit cards, credit cards and an unknown amount of money.

Ms Rothschild was transported to the Weill Cornell Medical hospital in critical condition.

The brutal and seemingly arbitrary attack caught the attention of New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who took the bold stance that “a woman taking the train should not be struck in the head with a hammer repeatedly.”

He went on to demand that the assailant be caught and imprisoned.

“And for us to believe that dangerous people like that, in some corners, that we need to say because they are in pain, they should inflict pain. I don’t subscribe to that. we need to catch him. He needs to be incarcerated,” he said.

Gerson Rothschild, the victim’s brother, told ABC-TV that his sister yelled for the attacker to stop, but the individual continued to swing at her.

“From what she told me on the phone, she was just walking down the steps to get into the subway on the way home from work when she was attacked by somebody from behind,” he said. “She kept screaming, ‘Stop! Stop!’ but the person wouldn’t stop.”

Her brother celebrated her alleged attacker’s arrest, but said her sister would hope for his rehabilitation.

“Nina would be hopeful that the individual would get the treatment that he needs during his time of incarceration,” he said.

Ms Rothschild is still recovering at the hospital but is reportedly doing well.

“Happily, Nina is indeed getting stronger by the day. Intellectually she is clear on events from 30 years ago and from 3 days ago and I attribute that to the excellent care of the trauma team at NYP-Weill Cornell who knew to relieve the increased intracranial pressure immediately upon her arrival at the hospital, ”her her brother said. “She has not yet gotten out of bed so that questions of coordination and balance remain currently unanswered.”

Ms Rothschild’s boss, New York City Health Department Commissioner Dave Chokshi, said Ms Rothschild was a “hero,” who has “worked tirelessly in service to her fellow New Yorkers.”

“The Health Department and I will do everything we can to support her in her recovery — and we ask that all New Yorkers keep her and her family in their thoughts while respecting their privacy during this difficult time,” he said.

Since taking office, Mr Adams has increased the police presence at some subway stations, including the one where Ms Rothschild was attacked.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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