Victim of New York subway hammer attack breaks silence and wants bail reform ‘undone’

City Health Department scientist who was brutally beaten with a hammer at a Queens subway station says she’s done riding the subway – and wants state bail reforms “undone.”

“Unfortunately, I basically remember the whole thing from start to finish,” Nina Rothschild told NBC news reporter Melissa Russo.

“I never saw my attacker, but I remember starting walking down the subway steps and feeling this hit on my head, which I initially thought was a baseball bat,” said Rothschild, 57. “I was always screaming again: ‘Stop, stop, stop. ‘ Which was fine, of course, but totally and utterly useless.”

Two police officers on a lower platform heard Rothschild’s cries for help and came to her aid “very quickly,” she said during the exclusive interview that aired Tuesday night.

She called the NYPD’s response “just wonderful.”

The day after the Feb. 24 video attack at Queens Plaza E, M and R station, police arrested William Blount, an ex-convict who has half a dozen prior arrests.

Nina Rothschild.
Nina Rothschild says she’s done riding the train after being brutally beaten with a hammer in a Queens subway station.

Blount, 57, is being held without bail at Rikers Island on attempted murder, robbery and other charges related to the horrific attack.

Blount has about half a dozen robbery and drug possession convictions and was behind bars in the 1980s for attempted sale of a controlled substance.

Police later arrested a second person, Denise Alston, for using the victim’s bank card.

hammer attack.
Nina Rothschild said she remembered the whole ordeal.
hammer attack.
Two police officers on a lower platform heard Rothschild’s cries for help and “very quickly” came to her aid.

After the horrific attack, Rothschild lamented the rise in crime in the Big Apple, calling the city “pretty menacing”.

“I feel like every day someone is telling me about another attack,” she said.

When asked about New Yorkers fleeing the city, she said, “I find it very sad, but it’s also completely understandable, and I can only hope that this wave of horror will end.”

Perpwalk by William Blount.
William Blount is being held without bail on Rikers Island for attempted murder and robbery.
Wayne Carrington
Blount was at large at the time of the attack, despite previous arrests for robbery and drug possession.

She also said the state’s criminal justice reforms on soft crime should be reversed to keep violent criminals behind bars and off the streets.

While there’s no indication Blount had a pending case in which he evaded bail, she said the reforms unleashed too many criminals.

“Personally, I’m not thrilled with the bail reform that went into effect, which allowed people out onto the streets unless they were accused of a particularly violent crime,” Rothschild said. “They are allowed out until the date of their trial.

“I would like to see this policy reversed and people remain incarcerated until the date of the trial,” she added. “If you are charged with a violent crime, regardless of your race, ethnicity, etc., I want you detained until the date of your trial.”

Nina Rothschild.
Rothschild bemoaned the rise in crime in New York, calling the city “pretty menacing”.

Rothschild said she used the tube “seven days a week” before the attack – but now she is reluctant to do so, even as she plans to return to work on May Day.

“I don’t plan on taking the subway anytime soon,” she said. “It is with extraordinary generosity that my colleagues at Health Department started a GoFundMe page, and at most people have contributed with incredibly generous, generous contributions.

“And I’ll certainly use that for Uber rides to and from work when I’m sent to the office.”

Nina Rothschild.
Rothschild said she would love to see bail reform policy “undone”.

She said she was still unsteady on her feet at times and was startled on at least one occasion in the street when a man walking near her stopped.

Nonetheless, Rothschild said she feels lucky and is eager to return to work.

“When the physical and occupational therapists asked me, ‘What were your goals?’ I said, ‘Well, I want my life back,'” she told Russo. “And thanks to everyone’s help, I’m taking my life back.”

. Victim of New York subway hammer attack breaks silence and wants bail reform ‘undone’


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