Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that William Blount, 57, has been charged with attempted murder, assault and other crimes for the vicious beating of a woman as she entered a Queens subway station on Thursday, February 24, 2022. A second individual is also charged with using the victim’s credit card hours after the assault.

District Attorney Katz said, “This was a brutal, gratuitous attack. As alleged, the defendant kicked the victim down a stairwell during a robbery and struck her repeatedly with a hammer and with such force that he fractured the woman’s skull and caused other serious injuries. The subways are too integral to the lifeblood of our City for riders to be terrorized when using them. The violence has to stop.”

Blount, whose last known address was on William Street in Manhattan, was arraigned this evening before Queens Criminal Court Judge Edwin Novillo on a six-count complaint charging him with attempted murder in the second degree, assault in the first degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree. Judge Novillo ordered the defendant to return to Court on March 3, 2022. Blount faces up to 25 years in prison, if convicted.

District Attorney Katz said, according to the charges, at approximately 11:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 24, 2022, the 58-year-old victim entered the Queens Plaza subway station and was approached from behind by the defendant. As alleged, the defendant began to kick the woman down the stairs, struck her on the head multiple times with a hammer, then grabbed the victim’s blue tote bag from her arm and fled the location.

The victim was immediately transported to an area hospital where she continues to be treated for a skull fracture, an intercranial hemorrhage along with bruising and swelling to her head.

Continuing, according to the complaint, the second defendant arrested in this case is Denise Alston, 57, of Keeseville Avenue in the St. Albans neighborhood of Queens. Alston was taken into custody the following day, February 25th, at approximately 10:25 p.m. in front of a commercial strip on 21st Street. This defendant allegedly made a $19 purchase using a blue credit card bearing the name of the subway attack victim. Additionally, police recovered the assault victim’s Chase Freedom Visa card, two department store cards and the victim’s New York City identification card allegedly from the wallet of Alston.

Defendant Alston was arraigned this afternoon before Queens Criminal Court Judge Anthony Battisti on a complaint charging her with criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree, petit larceny, criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree, identity theft in the third degree and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree. Judge Battisti ordered the defendant to return to Court on March 3, 2022. If convicted, Alston faces up to four years in prison.

The investigation was conducted by Police Officer Matthew Haggerty of the Queens Transit Robbery Squad of the New York City Police Department.

Assistant District Attorney Nicole Rella, of the Career Criminal Major Crimes Bureau, is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Shawn Clark, Bureau Chief, Michael Whitney, Deputy Bureau Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel Saunders.

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