subway attack
NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot F. Shea posted this photo of the suspect in the pipe-bashing incident. Photo: @NYPDDetectives/Twitter

Police have arrested a Brooklyn man in connection with a “vicious attack” on the subway in which he allegedly hit another straphanger in the face with a metal pipe, fracturing his skull.

Geovannie Nieves, 35, of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, has been charged with felony assault with a weapon.

The attack occurred Saturday night on a 2 train near Chambers Street and West Broadway in Manhattan, according to NYPD.

Officials posted a photo of the suspect to Twitter, saying that the man was wanted for assaulting a 59-year-old male with a pipe. Police say that cellphone footage from within the train shows the two men arguing, with Nieves swinging a metal pipe at the other man’s head.

 

Nieves was reportedly panhandling before the argument broke out. The victim, identified as Michael Vansluytman, told the New York Post that the fight began because he did not have any money to give Nieves.

After the attack, Vansluytman was taken to a local hospital with a fractured skull and broken eye socket.

“He was up in my face, so I said please get out of my face,” Vansluytman told the Post from his hospital bed. “He said I’m disrespectful.”

Nieves was speaking in Spanish, according to the Post, and when Vansluytman said that he did not speak Spanish, the argument reportedly escalated. 

NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot F. Shea said on Twitter that the department’s anonymous tip line helped lead to Nieves’ arrest.

“Once again, an anonymous Crimestoppers tip led to a successful apprehension & a safer city,” he wrote on Monday. “This man, wanted for a vicious attack with a pipe on the subway, was taken into custody last night. Commit a crime in NY? We're coming for you. Crimestoppers 800-577-TIPS #YourCityYourCall”

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