A homeless man, identified as Omar Cartagena, 46, has been sentenced to 14 years to life in prison for brutally stabbing a skateboarder during an unprovoked attack on the Williamsburg Bridge.
According to reports, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced the verdict, emphasizing the severity of the crime.
District Attorney Gonzalez expressed his commitment to ensuring the safety of Brooklyn residents, stating, “This was a brutal and horrifying attack on a completely innocent man. I am committed to keeping the people of Brooklyn safe from violence. With today’s lengthy sentence, the defendant will be held accountable for his actions.”
Cartagena deemed a mandatory persistent violent felony offender due to prior convictions, pleaded guilty to second-degree assault on September 7, 2023.
Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Eugene Guarino handed down the sentence.
The incident occurred on October 16, 2021, around 10 a.m. as Cartagena, riding a bicycle, confronted a 30-year-old skateboarder on the Williamsburg Bridge.
Despite the victim attempting to avoid conflict by moving to the other side of the bike path, Cartagena continued to harass and ultimately stabbed him once in the chest with a knife.
The victim remarkably managed to capture photographic evidence of Cartagena both during and after the attack.
The assailant was identified and apprehended approximately two hours later by detectives who recognized him from the victim’s photos. Cartagena was found in possession of a bloody knife, and DNA from the blade matched that of the victim.
After taking refuge in an urgent care clinic in Greenpoint, he was transported to Elmhurst Hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery, including a sternotomy, to address severe internal bleeding. He remained hospitalized for eight days.