Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Kareem Phillips was indicted for attempted murder after launching a knife attack on three people, including an elderly woman, from his wheelchair at a Woodside intersection. The woman sustained serious injuries.

District Attorney Katz said: “Within the span of just a few minutes, the defendant is alleged to have attacked three people and could have taken their lives. These attacks were unprovoked. We are grateful for the swift response of the NYPD in preventing further injuries.”

Phillips, 31, of 54th Street in Woodside, was arraigned today on an 11-count indictment charging him with two counts of attempted murder in the second degree; assault in the first degree; three counts of attempted assault in the first degree; three counts of assault in the second degree; and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree.

The defendant faces up to 65 years in prison if convicted.  Queens Supreme Court Justice Stephen Knopf ordered Phillips to return to court on April 25.

According to the charges:

  • On March 16, at approximately 12:20 p.m., Phillips maneuvered his wheelchair to position himself behind a 56-year-old man exiting his parked car. Phillips stabbed him in the back. The victim turned, saw Phillips holding a knife and ran. Phillips pursued, but the victim was able to go to a friend’s building nearby and the friend called 911. The victim required stitches for his wounds.
  • At approximately 12:30 p.m., Phillips encountered a 46-year-old female jogger. As the woman ran past him, Phillips approached her in his wheelchair and slashed the victim with a knife across her arm, causing her to bleed. The jogger reported the incident at a police precinct after receiving stitches for her wound.
  • At approximately 12:31 p.m., Phillips started to follow a third victim, a 69-year-old woman, as she crossed the street at 31st Avenue and 54th Phillips grabbed the victim’s arm, causing her to fall to the ground. Once she was down, Phillips punched her in the face, then stabbed her in the face and stomach with a knife. The woman was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
  • Police arriving at the intersection observed Phillips swinging two kitchen knives. He threw one of them at officers who observed that the blade was covered in what appeared to be blood.

The investigation was conducted by Police Officers Ashley Roseman and Allison Jeanbart of 114th Precinct.

Assistant District Attorney Alexia Campoverde of the District Attorney’s Career Criminal Major Crimes Bureau is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Michael Whitney, Bureau Chief, and Roni C. Piplani, Deputy Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Shawn Clark.

**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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