Suspect arrested in pipe beating on Brooklyn subway platform also questioned in brick attack

October 1, 2013 10:46:45 AM PDT
Police have arrested a suspect in a brutal attack at a Brooklyn subway station, and are questioning him for the brick beating robbery attempt earlier this month that left an internationally-known runner in critical condition.

The suspect has been identified as 25-year-old Leon Sims.

The subway victim, 35-year-old Asim Raza, was left badly hurt and in need of stitches.

The incident happened just after 1 a.m. on September 22 at the Ralph Avenue C train subway station in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Raza was just trying to get home after his shift at Popeye's when a man came out of nowhere and beat him with a pipe.

"'Why you hit me,' I said, 'I did nothing to you,'" Raza said. "Why? Why he hit me?"

He fell onto the tracks, suffered a chipped tooth and serious injuries to his face that required 20 stitches.

"He didn't steal anything, he didn't say anything, he just keep hitting me, just like a ball," Raza said. "Just keep hitting me like a ball. I was scared. I was really scared."

Police say Sims, fled on foot along the tracks. EMS transported the victim to Interfaith Medical Center in stable condition.

Suveillance cameras caught clear images of Sims, which police credited with assisting in the arrest. Sims is charged with two counts of felony assault.

The brick attack happened on 58th Street between 11th and 10th avenues, after victim Andrew Billington and his girlfriend left a concert.

The 37-year-old, who was reportedly in town to train for the New York Marathon, had just left the Terminal Club when he was approached from behind and struck over the head with a brick apparently covered in a cloth. After Billington hit the ground, police say he was struck again in the face.

The suspect proceeded to reach into Billington's pockets, but did not remove any property.

All the while, Billington's girlfriend was screaming, terrified.

Billington was transported to Bellevue Hospital and is listed in stable condition.