NYC subway-slugging victim says it’s ‘a miracle I’m alive’November 24, 2020
An Elmhurst man sucker-punched by a stranger on the Queens Plaza subway platform said it’s a miracle he’s alive — and said his attacker “must take boxing classes or something” based on how hard he swings.
Nelson Blanco, a 57-year-old construction worker, told The Post he was on his way to work and waiting to transfer to an R train at 9:15 a.m. Monday when the brute slugged him from out of the blue.
“It was horrible,” Blanco said at his home Tuesday. “Just talking about it makes me cry.”
“I was standing on the platform leaning against a column and was on the phone with my supervisor and when I turned my head I just felt the punch throw me back and I closed my eyes and hit the ground,” he said. “Luckily I hit the column first and that stopped the fall.
“It’s really a miracle I’m alive. If he hit the back of my neck, I might not be alive,” Blanco added. “He hit me with so much power. I really think he must take boxing classes or something. He also caught me completely off guard. I never saw that coming.”
The Columbian native, who lives with his wife and two daughters, said he initially saw his attacker sitting on the station stairs about 14 feet away, but didn’t realize the man had come up behind him.
He said the suspect fled the station when two bystanders came to his aid and called police.
Police said there have been no arrests in the case, but Blanco said cops showed him a photo of the assailant and he identified him.
The incident comes amid a rash of subway shoving incidents that prompted the city to announce a beefed-up police presence in the transit system.
But Blanco said he might be done with the subway system after the painful attack that sent him to Elmhurst Hospital for much of the day.
“Now I’ve been warned and next time I take the subway, I won’t even trust my own shadow, and for 25 years it was never like that,” he said. “Next time I see someone staring at me I will look right back at them.”
“I may even just drive in and take my own car,” he said. “I don’t know that I want to take the train. I don’t feel as safe anymore.”
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