Brooklyn Man Charged in Brutal Subway Robbery, Cops Say
BOROUGH PARK — A 21-year-old Brooklyn man who was arrested and charged with a brutal robbery was caught after he was allegedly captured on surveillance footage wearing a distinctive sweatshirt emblazoned with his nickname.
Aidan Folan was arrested Wednesday and charged with robbery and assault after the predawn March 19 attack inside the 18th Avenue subway station near McDonald Avenue, which left his victim with a broken arm and bruised face, according to the NYPD.
A video of the attack showed the suspect wearing a hoodie emblazoned with "Alpha Phi Delta" on the front and "Stugotz 27" on the back — a nickname that commenters on Gawker quickly connected to a Facebook profile belonging to Folan, even before police identified him publicly as a suspect.
On the Facebook page, Folan posted photos of himself in the same black and purple sweatshirt he allegedly also wore during the attack. One of those photos had drawn 174 comments as of Wednesday afternoon, including, "Internet justice at its finest" and "You deserve a slow and painful death."
Police sources said the NYPD zeroed in on Folan after receiving a tip, but it was not immediately clear if the Gawker commenters' online detective work played a role.
In the attack, Folan allegedly pounced on the unsuspecting 56-year-old woman about 2:40 a.m. and repeatedly slammed her into a wall, surveillance footage of the incident shows.
He eventually snatched the bag away as he threw her to the ground and kicked her in the chest several times, the video shows.
As he dumped the contents of her bag onto the ground, she tried to flee, but he chased after her, footage shows.
The victim was taken to Maimonides Medical Center and treated for a broken arm and facial bruises, cops said.
Correction: An earlier version of this report incorrectly stated the alleged attacker's shirt read "Alpha Delta Phi."