In a series of alarming incidents over the weekend, Matthew Lloyd, 36, has been arrested and charged with multiple assaults across Astoria and Manhattan. The victims, primarily the elderly, have expressed shock and disbelief at the sudden violence.
Jamal Bermudez, a 46-year-old high school physical education teacher from Flushing, was one of the individuals allegedly attacked by Lloyd. “I was taken by surprise,” Bermudez recounted to the Daily News. “I didn’t see it coming. I didn’t have any interaction with him.” He had just parked his car, he explained and was walking to Astoria Park with his girlfriend when the assault happened. “It was a beautiful day. We were walking down to the water, walking along the path that leads to the water.”
In a disturbing sequence of events, Lloyd allegedly struck Bermudez with an orange aluminum bat in Astoria. Not stopping there, Lloyd reportedly attacked Hristos Massalis, 79, a mile away, using the same weapon. Lloyd was arrested on Saturday, shortly after these incidents, and has been charged with attempted murder, assault, and criminal possession of a weapon, as stated in court documents.
However, these weren’t Lloyd’s only alleged incidents. Police Chief Joseph Kenny detailed two more attacks that took place the previous day in Midtown, Manhattan. The first victim, a 71-year-old man, was reportedly assaulted while riding a northbound N line train around 6:05 p.m. on Friday. Lloyd allegedly kicked the man in the head before hastily exiting the train at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street. Merely five minutes later, another assault occurred. Lloyd allegedly struck an 80-year-old man on the back of his head outside the 1 Central Park South building. Both victims were treated and released, but charges for Friday’s attacks have yet to be filed against Lloyd.
This recent spate of violence isn’t Lloyd’s initial brush with the law. Police records indicate that he was arrested in November for a 2018 gunpoint robbery at a Queens tattoo store. Jasmine Barnes, the store’s owner, reported that Lloyd had been an artist at the shop. However, after being caught smoking meth on the premises, he was fired. According to Barnes, he later broke into the store and stole cash. Further delving into his history reveals a 2019 burglary conviction in Queens, for which he served time.
Currently, Lloyd remains in custody following his arraignment for the weekend’s attacks. It’s essential to note that all charges against him are accusations, and Lloyd is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.