Brooklyn hammer attack suspect charged

Lucy Yang reports on the arrest of Anthony Coward Monday night (WABC)
May 12, 2014 8:13:17 PM PDT
Police have arrested a suspect in a series of hammer attacks in Brooklyn, including one in a subway station last week.

Authorities had announced earlier they were searching for 28-year-old Anthony Coward, who is accused in three separate attacks in Brooklyn and Queens since March.

The NYPD has arrested Coward and charged him with two counts of robbery in connection with the Brooklyn incidents.

The most recent attack happened last Wednesday morning at the Rockaway Avenue subway station in Brooklyn.

Police say the suspect hit a man in the head with a hammer as he bought a MetroCard, then took off with his wallet.

The 32-year-old man handed over his money, and the suspect fled the station. The victim was transported to Brookdale Hospital, where he was treated for his head injury and released.

In another incident that may be part of a pattern, a 26-year-old woman was approached from behind and struck by a hammer on March 5 at the intersection of 141-49 Pershing Crescent in Queens.

On Thursday, she said she never saw it coming. Wanting to remain anonymous, she said she was 16 weeks pregnant. She was walking to work, when she was hit from behind my a man wielding a hammer.

"I fell to my knees," she said.

The attacker got her Metro card, which police tracked. They were able to get pictures of a man they now suspect in all three attacks. When she saw the pictures, it all came flooding back. "As soon as I saw him, I started hysterically crying, reliving the whole experience," she said.

On May 4, a 23-year-old man was hit by another man with a hammer on Rockaway Avenue. The suspect fled on foot with the victim's wallet.

We're told Coward is no stranger to authorities, having been arrested 39 times for assault, jumping the turnstile, robbery, and grand larceny.

Anyone with information in regards to the robberies is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.