Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Abel Pita Aviles was indicted and arraigned today for allegedly robbing and then groping a woman at knifepoint inside an “M” train subway car in Dutch Kills.

District Attorney Katz said: “This shameful attack inside our subway system will not go unanswered. My Office will use all tools at our disposal to protect commuters from violence inside our trains. Every New Yorker should expect to be able to travel safely using public transportation. The defendant has been indicted on serious charges and is in custody.”

Aviles, 36, of 67th Avenue in Rego Park, Queens, was arraigned before Queens Supreme Court Judge Michael Yavinsky on a four-count indictment charging him with robbery in the first degree, sexual abuse in the first degree, forcible touching, and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. Judge Yavinsky ordered the defendant to return to court on January 17, 2023. He faces up to twenty-five years in prison if convicted.

According to the charges, on November 11, at approximately 8:45 a.m., the defendant approached the 24-year-old victim inside a subway car on an “M” train as it approached the 36th Street station. Aviles allegedly demanded money and the victim’s phone while pointing a knife at her. The victim handed over her phone and cash to the defendant.

Aviles allegedly pinned the victim to the subway seat and forcibly groped her before fleeing the location.

The defendant was apprehended on November 15. The investigation was conducted by members of the NYPD Transit Bureau’s Special Victims Division.

Assistant District Attorney Matthew Regan of the District Attorney’s Special Victims Bureau is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Eric C. Rosenbaum, Bureau Chief, Debra Pomodore and Brian Hughes, Deputy Chiefs, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel A. Saunders.

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