Woman beaten with nail-covered plank by ex-boyfriend left permanently disfigured, blinded in one eye
James Fitzgerald is accused of repeatedly punching and kicking Victoria Chuminski (pictured) on a Jamaica, Queens, street on Saturday, May 16, before using a the nail-covered plank to continue bashing his lover.
A homeless woman trying to piece her life back together and take care of her terminally ill mother is now permanently disfigured and blinded in one eye after her “possessive” ex-boyfriend beat her unconscious with a nail-covered wooden plank, authorities and friends told the Daily News.
James Fitzgerald, 53, is accused of repeatedly punching and kicking 35-year-old Victoria Chuminski outside Haifa Smoked Fish on 150th St. near 94th Ave. in Jamaica, Queens, Saturday evening before using the plank to bash in her face.
The horrific beating left Chuminski with cuts, puncture wounds and crushed bones in her face, according to a shocking criminal complaint. She also had some of her teeth knocked out.
The victim, who was taken to Jamaica Hospital, has lost the “majority of her facial structure" from the brutal beatdown, according to prosecutors.
“She remains unconscious, has undergone two surgeries, and she will suffer permanent facial disfigurement as a result of these injuries," court papers filed Monday morning say.
Cops arriving at the scene saw Fitzgerald fleeing, his hands soaked in blood, according to the complaint. Officers discovered the plank, with nails hammered into it, also splattered with blood.
A friend of Chuminski told the Daily News she was letting her stay at her place until a few weeks ago — and though the friend hadn’t met Fitzgerald, she knew he was bad news.
"She wouldn’t let me meet him because she was trying to break up with him,” said Chuminski’s shocked friend, who gave her name only as Dee.
Chuminski and Fitzgerald met in a rehab facility months ago and almost immediately latched onto each other, according to Dee.
"The first couple of days she thought she was in love,” the friend said of Chuminski, nicknamed “Precious.”
Then the relationship took a dark turn.
“He became very possessive over her,” said Dee. “She tried to break it up with him. She wasn’t seeing him for a good three or four weeks. And then he’s stalking her.”
Dee sent her son out with Chuminski in the neighborhood sometimes because the woman was afraid of running into Fitzgerald, Dee said.
“The guy just kept following her,” Dee said.
But a few weeks ago, Chuminski moved out of Dee’s apartment and the two hadn’t seen each other since.
"She was doing good, she was doing really good,” Dee said of Chuminski, noting that she was staying clean in addition to showing up for her mother’s medical appointments and tending to her needs.
“She was getting back with her mom, she was going over there to take care of her mom every day,” said Dee.
Fitzgerald was charged early Monday with attempted murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon. He was ordered held without bail during his arraignment in Queens Criminal Court and is due back in court June 17.
"He beat her in the face basically because he didn’t want anyone else to want her,” said Dee.
“I hope he goes down for attempted murder,” she said. “I pray that she’s OK.”
"I’ve been worried about her because I kept calling her to try to find out what happened and she wasn’t answering and she wasn’t coming by,” Dee said.
Chuminski was trying to take care of her terminally ill mother who lives in Queens, according to Dee.