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Mugger Hit by Train After Trying to Steal 13-Year-Old's Phone, NYPD Says

By Aidan Gardiner | April 5, 2016 8:38am | Updated on April 5, 2016 9:20am

QUEENS — A mugger was hit by a train after he tried to steal a 13-year-old's cellphone and escape through a Woodside subway tunnel, police said.

Louis Berthony, 33, was aboard a Manhattan-bound M train near the Northern Boulevard station about 8 a.m. when he tried to snatch the boy's phone, an NYPD spokesman said.

Another straphanger tried to intervene but Berthony punched him in the face, giving him a bloody nose, police said.

At some point, the train stopped and its doors opened, letting the suspect flee into the tunnel between the Northern Boulevard and 65th Street stations, police said.

Berthony was hit by an express train but only suffered scratches and bruises, police said.

Police arrested him in the tunnel and led him out of the tunnel and treated at Elmhurst General Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition, officials said. 

The good Samaritan who tried to intervene was evaluated at Elmhurst, police said.

Berthony, who had the phone stashed in the pocket of his sweatpants, was charged with robbery, assault and criminal trespassing, an NYPD spokesman said.

Berthony, of Canarsie, was arrested once a month last year from May to July for making a terroristic threat, violating the state sanitary code and criminal possession of a controlled substance, police said.

After the assault, trains along the E, F, M and R trains were suspended for about an hour between Queens and Manhattan, the MTA said.

They resumed about 9 a.m. but with "extensive delays," the MTA said.

Frustrated commuters shared photos of their crowded commutes and anecdotes about long delays on social media.