Since mid-November of last year, six women have been assaulted at the Morgan Ave. L Station, according to the NYPD. One woman had to be hospitalized as a result of her injuries. In all cases, the perpetrator was masked and fled the station after inflicting the assaults.
The first incident occurred on November 17, at 8 p.m., when a woman was attacked from behind on the stairs. She was left with deep cuts on her forehead and nose. Three more assaults fitting a similar m.o. occurred on December 11, 26 and 28. On Wednesday, December 30, police took into custody 50-year-old Benny Watts and charged him with four counts of Third Degree assault. Since released without bail, he is set to appear in court early February.
The Saturday following Watts’ release, another woman reported an attack at the Morgan stop. She was ambushed while climbing the stairs and punched several times in the face. The woman, Bianca, took to Instagram to share her account of the attack, in addition to photos of her heavily bruised and upbraided face.
According to Bianca (per an Instagram “story”), a woman later contacted her to say that she, too, was similarly ambushed and beaten at the Morgan Ave. stop. This would bring the number of attacks up to six, at a single subway station and in less than two months. At the time of writing, NYPD was unable to confirm this second woman’s assault.
In the same post, Bianca provided further information on the perpetrator: “The attacker is about 5’8”, medium build and has worn either a gray hoodie or a dark puffer jacket with a mask and beanie. He’s attacked at both ends of the station and waits for women to be alone. The attacks are typically at night (between 8 and 10 p.m.), but two were earlier in the day. PLEASE BE ON ALERT IF YOU USE THIS STATION.”
Via her Instagram, Bianca also posted a picture of a man who shares a name with the man arrested in connection with the assaults, Benny Watts, stating emphatically that the person pictured was not the man who assaulted her, and discouraged the application of “vigilante justice.”
For more news, sign up for Bushwick Daily’s newsletter.
Join the fight to save local journalism by becoming a paid subscriber.