For the first time since she was severely injured in a hammer attack in a New York City subway station, Dr. Nina Rothschild returned to the scene of the crime.
A scientist with the New York City Health Department, Rothschild was leaving work when she was struck by a person she’d never met.
Surveillance footage captured the moment she was beaten over the head with a hammer 14 times as she entered the station in Queens three months ago. But Rothschild, 57, doesn’t need the footage to remind her of that day’s events; she remembers every agonizing moment of the traumatic encounter.
“I was assaulted right over there,” she said to .
“I remember that I was just starting to head down to the train station, and somebody started hitting me over the head with what I thought at the time was a baseball bat,” she said.
Rothschild never saw her attacker, who said nothing as he struck her over and over.
“I kept calling out, ‘Stop, stop, stop!’ Which of course is not very useful, but I just did,” she said.
Rothschild’s skull was fractured, and her hand was broken as she tried to ward of blows. She faces months of physical therapy.
Her accused attacker, a 57-year-old homeless man with a lengthy prison record, was arrested a week later. Still, returning to the train station was nerve-racking, she said.
“I did kind of look around me as I was heading down into the station, just to be on the safe side,” she said.
Rothschild used to ride the subway every day but after surviving a traumatizing attack, as well as following the news of a mass shooting on a Manhattan-bound N train Brooklyn earlier this week that left 10 shot and 19 others injured, she now takes Ubers.
“I am not planning to take the subway for a while,” she said.