Suspect in subway attack on 78-year-old woman: She started it

March 24, 2019 - 10:59 am

YONKERS (1010 WINS) – The 36-year-old father accused of brutally beating a 78-year-old woman on a Bronx subway train earlier this month says the woman had threatened him and his family first.

At an arraignment early Sunday, the lawyer for Marc Gomez reportedly said the woman threatened to stab Gomez, his fiancée and 11-year-old daughter while flashing a sharp object. The lawyer described the woman as homeless and lying across a seat of the number 2 train. 

Gomez’s fiancée, who didn’t want to be named, backed up his claim, telling 1010 WINS that the victim had threatened to punch her daughter and kill them following an argument over tight seating.

“She threatened to stab my daughter, stab me and stab my fiancé,” she said. “She says she would kill us and kill him.”

She says the woman repeatedly threatened them and they moved away from her. She says Gomez snapped when the woman displayed a metal object as they were getting off the train.

Video of the March 10 altercation taken by fellow commuters went viral, sparking outrage after it was viewed millions of times.

Police say Gomez kicked the woman in the face; he has reportedly denied it. 

His fiancée told 1010 WINS he later expressed regret for going after the woman: “I kind of feel bad. I went a little too far, but I just snapped because she was threatening baby girl,” she said, characterizing his remarks. “That could have been somebody's mom or grandma,” she says he said.

The 78-year-old woman was taken to a hospital. Police say she’s getting care, advocacy and support.

A former neighbor of hers told the New York Post that she is a former kindergarten teacher who is mentally ill and has threatened residents with a knife in the past.

Gomez was booked on felony assault charges Saturday and is being held in lieu of $30,000 bail because prosecutors said he has other open cases.

Back in November, Gomez was stopped on the Cross Bronx Expressway. Cops allegedly found a 12-gauge Mossberg shotgun with ammo in his car, according to the Post, which reported Gomez also has a misdemeanor conviction.

His fiancée says he’s not the monster he’s being made out to be and that he should get leniency. She says a shorter sentence would be appropriate.

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