A New York City man was sentenced to 19 years in prison after he beat his estranged girlfriend with a nail-riddled wooden plank two years ago.
James Fitzgerald, 55, of the Bronx, admitted to beating the woman on the sidewalk in front of a Queens fish market in May 2020, WPIX-TV reported. Fitzgerald pleaded guilty to attempted murder in Queens Supreme Court last month, according to the television station.
According to prosecutors, Fitzgerald attacked the 35-year-old victim, knocking her to the ground and punching her several times in the head, WNBC-TV reported.
Bystanders asked Fitzgerald to stop and he briefly walked away, but he then returned with the wooden plank and struck the victim in the face, WPIX reported.
Prosecutors said police arrived on the scene just as Fitzgerald was walking away. He was arrested following a short foot pursuit, according to WNBC.
According to prosecutors, the victim suffered several serious injuries and lost vision in her right eye, the television station reported. She is also permanently disfigured and lost several of her teeth, prosecutors said.
“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.”