A man who was caught on video allegedly stomping a homeless woman in the New York City subway is now claiming that she threatened him with a knife before he struck back.
Marc Gomez of Yonkers was arrested and charged with felony assault and ordered held in lieu of $30,000 bail, $15,000 cash. Gomez was apprehended Saturday after video surfaced of the March 10 incident, in which he could be seen repeatedly kicking an elderly woman. The video has since garnered millions of views.
Information from a tipster who had seen the aforementioned video led to Gomez's arrest.
Steven Mechanic, Gomez's court appointed lawyer, says that what's seen in the footage caught by a fellow straphanger is not the whole story.
“She was homeless and lying across the seat and wanted all other passengers to move,” said Mechanic during a Bronx Criminal Court arraignment on Sunday, according to The New York Post. “She said, at that point, ‘I have a knife and I’m going to stab you."
Alicia Cox, Gomez's fiancée, elaborated:
“When she threatened to stab all of us once again, it’s like [Gomez] snapped because he sensed us right behind him and he snapped," Cox told The New York Daily News. “He’s a real loving guy. He’s a sweetheart. ... It’s just that we both agree that he made a bad decision, went about it the wrong way.”
Police dispute this version of the events and assert Gomez acted without being provoked. Prosecutor Theresa Genthe asked for a high bail in this case.
“The defendant was recorded on video kicking a 78-year-old woman on a subway in The Bronx,” said Genthe. “The defendant viciously kicked her six times, while wearing boots, about the head and face.”
Prosecutors also noted Gomez's previous misdemeanor conviction and an open gun possession case in the Bronx, stemming from an incident in which he was stopped by police on the Cross Bronx Expressway and found with a 12-gauge Mossberg shotgun and ammo, according to The Post.
The 78-year-old woman's name is being withheld. Police Chief Dermot F. Shea said that she "was treated & released from the hospital & is getting the care, advocacy & support needed" in a tweet announcing Gomez's arrest.
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