CHELSEA — A man using the bathroom at Chelsea Piers repeatedly whacked a janitor on the head with a plunger and punched him after the janitor accidentally bumped him with his mop, police said.
The 63-year-old janitor, who was cleaning the public bathroom on the north side of the building, was taken to Lenox Hill Hospital and had a bloody left ear and bruises and swelling on the left side of his face, according to police and workers there.
Soon after the incident that took place on Sept. 11 just after 9 a.m., police arrested Billy Thomas, 46, and charged him with assault.
“I’ve been doing this for 39 years," said Thomas' defense attorney Mathew Mari. "I’ve never had a case where someone was hit with a plunger."
Mari said that he believes Thomas is homeless and the $5,000 cash bail is too high.
"The guy's a homeless man...who doesn't have 10 cents," he said. "For what? How seriously injured was this person? Did the person have any broken bones? Is the person going to have surgery?"
A worker at Chelsea Piers said the janitor is a quiet, soft-spoken man who returned to work at some point after the incident.
"He goes about his day and just gets his job done and goes home," said the worker, who declined to give his name.
Thomas is being held at Manhattan Detention Complex, records show. He is due back in court on Oct. 15, according to prosecutors.
Chelsea Piers did not respond to an immediate request for comment.