Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Waheed Foster was sentenced today to 22 years in prison for the violent, unprovoked attempted murder of a commuter at the Howard Beach – JFK Airport subway station in September 2022. The victim, who was on her way to work at the time of the attack, was so badly injured that she later lost her right eye.

District Attorney Katz said: “A 33-year-old woman was simply on her way to work when Waheed Foster, without any warning, smashed her in the head with an object, pummeled her in the head with his fists, and kicked her in the face repeatedly. A good Samaritan attempted to intervene during the attack but was chased by the assailant, who then resumed his vicious onslaught. It’s a miracle she’s alive today after the brutal assault she endured.”

Foster, 43, undomiciled at the time of the attack, was sentenced today by Judge Ira Margulis to 22 years in prison, followed by five years post-release supervision. He pleaded guilty to attempted murder in the second degree on June 6.

According to the charges:

  • On September 20, 2022, at approximately 5:30 a.m., Foster followed 33-year-old Elizabeth Gomes as she got off a train at the Howard Beach/JFK Airport subway station on her way to work.
  • While Gomes was walking up the stairs to reach the main platform, Foster ran up from behind and struck her in the head with a hard object without any provocation.
  • As observed on video surveillance footage, Gomes fled, running through the station.
  • Foster caught up to the victim and threw her to the ground, punching her repeatedly as she laid on the floor.
  • Several moments later, when Gomes began to get up off the ground, Foster kicked her in the face multiple times, knocking the victim back down, and continued the attack.
  • A good Samaritan seen in the video attempting to intervene was chased away by Foster.
  • Gomes was taken to a local hospital where she underwent emergency eye surgery. As a result of her injuries, she lost her right eye.

Assistant District Attorney Kanella Georgopoulos of the District Attorney’s Career Criminal Major Crimes Bureau prosecuted the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Michael Whitney, Bureau Chief and Roni C. Piplani, Deputy Chief, under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for the Major Crimes Division Shawn Clark.

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