QUEENS, New York (WABC) -- Two commuters are speaking out after they were injured while waiting for the R train in Queens last Thursday by an individual holding a piece of wood out of the train.
Police are now seeking a man in connection with the three separate assaults that occurred on Thursday, October 5, within 15 minutes of each other.
Around 12:30 p.m. a woman, 59, was waiting on the southbound platform for the R train at Grand Avenue station, when a man held a piece of wood out from a moving R train and hit her in the throat with it. The victim suffered minor injuries and was transported to a local hospital in stable condition.
At 12:40 p.m., two males were waiting on the southbound R platform at Elmhurst Avenue station when a man held a piece of wood out from a moving R train and threw it at them. There were no injuries reported to police.
At 12:42 p.m., a 56-year-old woman was waiting on the southbound R platform at Jackson Heights Roosevelt Avenue station when the suspect held a piece of wood out from a moving R train and hit her in the head with it. The victim was transported to a local hospital where she received stitches.
Those injured said they are still recovering and believe they could have easily been killed.
Olivia Wright said she is still thinking about how much worse it could have been when she was attacked at the Jackson Heights station.
"The platform was covered with blood," she said. "They had to throw my clothes away because I had on white."
Her right eye is still black and her face is still partially paralyzed.
"The scar will be there for the rest of my life...the scar will be there," Wright said. "And the thought, I mean, I don't even want to get on the train anymore."
Myra Brevard was attacked about 12 minutes before Wright as she was stepping off the train.
"It was full speed, just before it got to me he stuck a board out and hit me in the throat," Brevard said.
She said it happened in an instant and despite the pain in her throat, she wants to talk about it because wants the suspect caught.
"And they told me had I been hit a little bit over to the left that my windpipe would have cracked in half and I wouldn't have made it- I would have died on the platform," Brevard said.
Police have released an image of an individual they are looking for in connection to the assaults. He was last seen wearing a black sweater, black pants and an orange backpack.
NYC Transit President Rich Davey called the suspect a "clown" that is likely a subway recidivist. He said he has a good idea of how the man was able to strike the two women on the platform but declined to explain further to avoid potential copycats.
Anyone was information in regard to this pattern of assaults is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).