Jan. 21, 2022 By Christian Murray
A Queens panhandler who punched, robbed and yelled homophobic slurs at a man on the platform of the Jamaica LIRR station in 2020 has been convicted by a jury of a hate crime and other charges.
Kevin Carroll, 39, who has a history of violence, was convicted by a jury of robbery and aggravated harassment—a hate crime—following a two-week-long trial.
“Hate has no place in our borough,” said Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz in a statement today. “The defendant in this case attacked a man without provocation. The defendant yelled out homophobic slurs and insults and then knocked the victim out and stole his property. A jury weighed the evidence and found the defendant guilty at trial.”
According to court testimony, Carroll approached the victim—a 40-year-old doctor— at around 7:20 a.m. on July 22, 2020 and asked him for a dollar while standing on the platform at the Jamaica LIRR station.
The victim, who was wearing medical scrub pants, replied that he did not have a dollar.
The defendant, according to court testimony, then became angry and began to threaten the victim. Carroll threw a water bottle at him and then left.
But moments later, Carroll returned telling the man that he found a dollar and threw it at him.
At that point, Carroll yelled a homophobic slur about the victim’s attire and the doctor told him that he was gay.
Upon learning that the victim was gay, authorities said, Carroll became enraged and repeatedly referred to the victim by a homophobic slur and shouted to a man on the opposite platform that the victim was “worse than his girl.”
Carroll then attacked the victim – punching him in the face and knocking him to the platform surface where he lost consciousness. The defendant then took the victim’s cell phone along with his gym bag and fled the scene.
Video surveillance at the station captured the defendant minutes before the attack as well as afterwards. Carroll was arrested two days later on another matter and was identified by the arresting officer who had viewed the video footage.
The victim sustained a lasting injury to his retina that has permanently affected his vision.
Carroll faces up to 25 years-to-life in prison when sentenced as a mandatory persistent felony offender.
His criminal history includes a 2000 conviction for attempted robbery of a 15-year-old as well as a 2003 conviction for attempted aggravated assault of a police officer who approached him as he panhandled in the subway.
In the 2003 case, Carroll body slammed a female officer onto the platform and tried to shove her onto the tracks as a train entered the station.
Carroll also has two other convictions. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 15.