Nina Rothschild: Woman bludgeoned in NYC subway station is a Dept of Health scientist
The 58-year-old victim’s brother has said that she is still in critical condition after Thursday's attack
A woman who was brutally attacked with a hammer during a robbery in a New York subway station has been identified as Dr. Nina Rothschild, a scientist with the city's Department of Health. The 58-year-old health worker was bludgeoned from behind at least 13 times on Thursday, February 24 while she was entering the Queens Plaza station just after 11:20 pm.
Nina's brother Gerson Rothschild, who is also a scientist in Upper Manhattan at Columbia University, has given an update about his sister after speaking with her on Friday, February 25. He told ABC7, “From what she told me on the phone she was just walking down the steps to get into the subway on the way home from work when she was attacked by somebody from behind. She apparently remembers all of that and she kept screaming, 'stop, stop' but the person either wouldn't stop, I don't remember exactly what she said, but ultimately grabbed the bag with the cellphone and the personal papers and apparently some jewelry and ran off with it.”
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According to reports, both the Rothschild siblings are lifelong New Yorkers. Nina is a graduate of the Mailman School at Columbia University and has worked in public health for years. She has also worked towards the prevention of HIV and mental health issues.
Disturbing surveillance video from Thursday showed Nina walking down the stairs to the subway platform when the suspect hit her in the back before taking out the hammer to attack. He reportedly hit her 13 times in the head as she fell to the ground and the man fled away with her purse. The accused is yet to be identified and arrested.
The victim was then found by officers lying on the ground in a very serious condition. She was immediately transported to a nearby hospital for treatment. Dr. Dave Chokshi, the health commissioner for the city, condemned the attack and said, “Nina has worked tirelessly in service to her fellow New Yorkers and she is truly a public health hero. The Health Department and I will do everything we can to support her in her recovery—and we ask that all New Yorkers keep her and her family in their thoughts while respecting their privacy during this difficult time.”
The horrific incident took place a week after Mayor Eric Adams announced his Subway Safety Plan and nearly 1,000 additional officers were stationed at the subway stations to solve the rising crime. Adams also expressed his anger over the attack and said, “We need to deal with those who are on our streets right now that are dangerous, that are violent and have a total disregard. A woman taking the train should not be struck in the head with a hammer, repeatedly. And for us to believe that dangerous people like that, in some corners, that we need to say because they are in pain, they should inflict pain. I don't subscribe to that. we need to catch him. He needs to be incarcerated.”
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has also reacted to the incident. Aaron Donovan said: “People who would prey on New Yorkers riding transit should get the message that it's not going to be tolerated.” A spokesman for the mayor, Fabien Levy, added: “We should not conflate such isolated acts of violence on the subway with broad statements about the behavioral and mental health challenges the city is confronting, or the issue of aiding those experiencing homelessness that the mayor's plan directly addresses.”