NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A 33-year-old man faces assault charges after he allegedly knocked a pregnant woman unconscious during what appears to be a random attack in Brooklyn.
Jannatul Ferdous, 34, who is six months pregnant, was walking with her sister on Monroe Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant on Thursday afternoon when a man suddenly approached her, punched her in the eye and fled, 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reported.
The incident was caught on video, which was released by the New York Post.
An interpreter helped Ferdous, who does not speak English, explain to CBS 2’s Dave Carlin what happened. She said the man was a stranger and she was just minding her own business walking down Monroe Street when she was attacked.
“She can’t remember anything after she fell,” the interpreter said.
Witness Irene Lodge-Stewart was among the neighbors who helped comfort the victim.
“I let her know that I felt for her,” Lodge-Stewart told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman.
Ferdous was briefly knocked unconscious during the attack, but she and her unborn child did not suffer serious injuries, Schuck reported.
Two police officers assigned to a nearby summer camp were able to track down the suspect, who was identified as Willie Stephens of Brooklyn.
On Friday night, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton tweeted a photo of the two officers, praising them for their service.
Stephens was charged with felony assault.
Neighbors described the area where the attack happened as quiet and peaceful.
“It’s ridiculous, I have no words,” one woman said. “What’s going on? It’s horrible.”
“It’s just disgusting to me,” another woman said. “It is a dangerous time, people are crazy.”
“They should catch everyone who does this,” added Bed-Stuy resident Lavonne Greene.
Lodge-Stewart said she’s outraged by what went down just steps from her home.
“I think it was a very cold-hearted kind of thing that anyone could do,” Lodge-Stewart told CBS 2’s Don Champion.
The incident left Lodge-Stewart shaken, considering her daughter was murdered in the neighborhood 12 years ago.
“I think crime is something that we should really put on the forefront,” Lodge-Stewart said.
As CBS 2’s Carlin reported, Ferdous primary concern was for her baby. Doctors told her that she is lucky the punch and fall did not hurt the baby.
A motive for the attack was not immediately known. Police believe the attack could be connected to a “knockout trend,” where criminals try to punch victims unconscious with a single blow, Carlin reported.
Earlier this week, 72-year-old Donald Lathrom was randomly punched in the head while walking down a West Village street. Police were searching for the two suspects in that case.
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