Police are hunting a man who video shows pepper sprayed a couple in a random unprovoked attack as they walked in Manhattan, in the latest in a spate of incidents that have driven up
Surveillance video shows the couple – an 18-year-old woman and her 19-year-old male partner – walking down 8th avenue in the trendy Chelsea neighborhood.
A man walks towards them and as he passes he quickly raises a can to their eyes.
The woman then doubles over in pain as the suspect appears to walk away in no rush.
The incident took place on June 1 at about 9.50pm in front of the outdoor seating area of the Chelsea Italian Ristorante at 108 8th Avenue, according to the New York Police Department.
They said they are looking for a black male over the assault, but did not have any other description.
The couple were treated for redness and swelling to their eyes, police said.
The assault happened shortly before 10pm by the Chelsea Italian Ristorante at 108 8th Avenue
The suspect appears to have used pepper spray on the victims before walking away
Overall crime in the city is up 22 percent compared with last year. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said that New Yorkers ‘don’t feel safe because the crime rate is up.’
The attack comes amid a surge in violent crime in the city as it reopens from lockdown.
Overall crime was up by 22 percent in May compared with the same time last year, according to the latest crime numbers released by the NYPD on June 3.
Police say the current upswing in crime is driven by a 47 percent increase in robbery (1,182 v. 806) and a 36 percent increase in grand larceny (2,848 v. 2,101).
Felony assaults last month increased by 20.5 percent (1,979 v. 1,643) compared to May 2020, when much of the city was still in lockdown from the coronavirus.
Murders remained the same last month, though the total number of murders this year is up 17.4 percent compared to what they were at this point in 2020.
This year’s tally of rape and felony assault are up 2.4 and 7.7 percent respectively compared to this time last year, according to NYPD stats.
Public transportation attacks are also up after a recent surge in stabbings and lower police presence following calls to ‘defund the police.’
Police say the current upswing of crime is driven by robbery and grand larceny
On Saturday, an unidentified man was caught on surveillance fleeing after he tried to rape a woman on a New York City sidewalk.
The 27-year-old woman was walking on the sidewalk at 7am in Manhattan’s Midtown neighborhood when the man grabbed her from behind.
The suspect grabbed the woman by the throat with both of his hands and pushed her against a storefront on East 33rd Street.
Police said the suspect then pulled down his pants and tried to rape the woman.
The woman fought back against the suspect during a brief struggle and was able to flee, according to police.
Police are hunting a man who was caught on surveillance video fleeing after he tried to rape a woman on a sidewalk in Manhattan’s Midtown neighborhood on Saturday at 7am
Anti-Asian hate crimes, driven by the pandemic’s origin in China, have also skyrocketed.
On May 31 in Chinatown, a man was caught by surveillance video sucker punching a 55-year-old Asian woman so hard she fell to the ground.
The attacker, identified by authorities as 48-year-old Alexander Wright, walked up to the woman and ‘struck her in the face with a closed fist so hard that her hat flew off her head, she fell to the ground, and lost consciousness,’ authorities said.
The 48-year-old homeless man has been arrested 41 times since his 17th birthday – including eight times in the past year alone, DailyMail.com revealed.
At his arraignment last Wednesday, prosecutors highlighted Wright’s most recent arrests in recommending high bail to actually keep him behind bars this time, including an open case in the Bronx from last July.
‘In that case, the defendant is accused of striking a 72-year-old man in the face with a closed fist, causing the victim to fall to the ground,’ Manhattan assistant district attorney William Darling told the judge.
Judge Angela Badamo agreed with the prosecution’s recommendation to set bail at $15,000 cash.
A 55-year-old Asian woman was punched by a stranger as she walked in Chinatown on May 31
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said New Yorkers ‘don’t feel safe’ as the city churns back to normal thanks to vaccines and re-opening policies.
Responding last week to a question about the attack on the 55-year-old Asian woman, Cuomo said there is no single solution to the increasingly visible acts of violence throughout the city.
But he said he believes the fundamental issue was a deteriorated relationship between police and the communities they serve.
‘Crime in New York City is a major problem,’ he said. ‘I have said repeatedly, as you know, we’re talking about reopening, reimagining, getting people to come back to New York, back to offices, etcetera. We have all sorts of incentives in economic development. The number one economic development priority is public safety.’
So far this year, crimes against Asians in New York City have shot up a whopping 335 percent
Cuomo appeared to take a dig at Mayor Bill de Blasio when he said that the choice for the next mayor would be hugely consequential.
He said: ‘This mayor matters, and we need someone who can both communicate with the people of the city and bring the people of the city together and get things done.
‘You need a level of competence that doesn’t currently exist.’
Bill de Blasio says crimes has soared because the world was ‘turned on its head’ with COVID. He has also blamed a backlog in the court system for it, saying it means criminals are on the streets longer than they might have been before.
The NYPD lays the blame with de Blasio’s bail reform, which has meant many more suspected criminals have been let out of jail early, or never put there in the first place.