JAMAICA, Queens (PIX11)– A Bronx man who admitted to beating his estranged girlfriend with a nail-riddled wooden plank two years ago will spend nearly two decades in jail, authorities said Thursday.
James Fitzgerald, 55, was sentenced to 19 years for brutally attacking the woman on the sidewalk in front of a fish market in Queens in May 2020, prosecutors said. The defendant pleaded guilty to attempted murder in Queens Supreme Court last month.
Prosecutors said Fitzgerald approached the 35-year-old woman and knocked her to the ground before beating her with his fists and feet near 150th Street in Jamaica on May 16. While bystanders pleaded with him to stop, the suspect briefly walked away only to return with the wooden plank and pound the woman in the face, authorities said.
The victim suffered several serious injuries and is permanently disfigured, prosecutors said. She lost vision in her right eye and had multiple reconstructive surgeries to repair facial fractures.
Cops apprehended Fitzgerald after he tried to flee the scene, and recovered the bloody plank.
“This defendant brutally attacked his former girlfriend nearly to death,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said in a statement. “It is a miracle that the victim survived, though she still faces years of physical and mental recovery due to severe sustained injuries.”