A Rego Park man was indicted and arraigned today for the alleged subway attack of a woman back in November, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced.
Abel Pita Aviles, 36, of 67th Avenue, is accused of robbing and groping a woman at knifepoint inside an M train subway car in Dutch Kills.
According to the charges, on Nov. 11, at around 8:45 a.m., Aviles approached the 24-year-old female victim inside an M train subway car approaching the 36th Street station.
He’s accused of pointing a knife at the victim while demanding money and her cell phone, as well as pinning her down to the subway seat and forcibly groping her before fleeing on foot. The woman did hand over her phone and cash.
Aviles was apprehended shortly thereafter on Nov. 15.
“This shameful attack inside our subway system will not go unanswered. My office will use all tools at our disposal to protect commuters from violence inside our trains,” Katz said in a statement. “Every New Yorker should expect to be able to travel safely using public transportation. The defendant has been indicted on serious charges and is in custody.”
Aviles was arraigned before a Queens Supreme Court Judge on a four-count indictment charging him with robbery in the first degree, sexual abuse in the first degree, forcible touching and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree.
He was ordered to return to court on Jan. 17, 2023.
If convicted, Aviles faces up to 25 years in prison.
The investigation was conducted by members of the NYPD Transit Bureau’s Special Victims Division.