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A homeless man who allegedly slashed an individual on a subway platform in Forest Hills last weekend has been charged with assault and criminal possession of a weapon, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
Steven Jackson, 48, allegedly knifed 61-year-old Siew Khuen Loh’s neck at the 71st Street-Continental Avenue subway stop, sending him to Elmhurst Hospital Saturday night, the DA said. Loh received 15 to 20 stitches at the hospital, according to Brown.
“The defendant in this case is alleged to have set upon an innocent victim who was merely waiting for a subway train,” Brown said. “The victim was struck from behind, without warning or provocation and never had a chance to defend himself. He is fortunate, indeed, that he was not more severely injured.”
An eyewitness who was standing on the same platform as Loh saw Jackson allegedly get up from a bench, approach the victim and put his hands near the man’s shoulders, according to the DA. The eyewitness said he saw Loh shudder and noticed the victim was bleeding from the back of the neck, Brown said.
A bloody knife was allegedly found in Jackson’s pants pocket, the DA said.
Unnerved Forest Hills residents said the man also allegedly attacked two other people, though police would not confirm this. The New York Post reported he first allegedly attacked a 54-year-old man at Queens Boulevard and Union Turnpike and then wounded a 49-year-old man at Austin Street and 72nd Road around 10:50 p.m. Five minutes later, he allegedly knifed the man at the subway station, the DA said.
“Thank God no one was seriously injured,” Koslowitz said.
Residents said the attacks have put the community on edge.
“You always hear the mayor talking about how safe the city is getting, and I was starting to believe it, but now what?” said Monica Georgilis, a Forest Hills resident. “I might get randomly stabbed by some guy I don’t know? That’s not what I call safe.”
Richard Dzubow, also of Forest Hills, said he has not wanted to take the subway after he heard of the attack.
“I’m definitely thinking twice before going to that station again, especially with my daughter,” he said. “I’ve never heard of something like this happening here. It’s frightening.”
Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4574.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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