Aug. 21, 2023 By Bill Parry
An Astoria man was criminally charged on Aug. 21 in Queens Criminal Court on charges of attempted murder and assault for allegedly clubbing two men with an aluminum bat he wielded while riding on a skateboard near Astoria Park and the Marine Terrace Apartments during the evening of Saturday, Aug. 19.
Matthew Lloyd, 38, of 20th Avenue, was arraigned before Queens Criminal Court Judge Anthony Battisti on charges of attempted murder in the second degree, assault in the first and second degrees, attempted assault in the first and second degrees and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree.
According to the charges, at approximately 6:10 p.m. on Aug. 19, Lloyd was riding a skateboard when he approached Jamal Bermudez from behind, near the intersection of 19th Street and Ditmars Boulevard at the northeast corner of Astoria Park, and struck him on the back of the head with a metal baseball bat. The victim, 46, fell, struck his head on the pavement and lost consciousness. The defendant fled on his skateboard. Bermudez suffered injuries including bleeding, swelling and lacerations.
Within minutes of the attack on Bermudez, at approximately 6:21 pm, Lloyd, still riding his skateboard, approached 79-year-old Massalis Hristos near 20-17 19th St. at the Marine Terrace apartment complex and struck him on the head with the baseball bat, knocking him to the ground, according to the charges. While the victim was on the ground, Lloyd repeatedly struck him in the head and face with the bat, causing fractures to his skull, eye socket and face. EMS responded to the crime scene and rushed Hristos to NewYork-Presbyterian Queens Hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery in an effort to save his eye. He remains hospitalized.
Police from the 114th Precinct in Astoria arrested Lloyd a short distance away less than an hour after the second attack in possession of a skateboard and a metal bat.
“The randomness of the attacks is as frightening as their brutality,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said. “As a city, we cannot concede our neighborhoods to those who would randomly attack.
The defendant will be held to account for his alleged actions.”
Judge Battisti ordered Lloyd to return to court on Aug. 25. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted of attempted murder.