Victim Says He Was Struck From Behind After Leaving Class At Mercy College

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The search continues for a man who has been going around Manhattan randomly attacking people with a hammer.

The first attack happened at around 1:45 p.m. near 35th Street and 6th Avenue, CBS2’s Diane Macedo reported.

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Victor Urena, 20, was struck from behind.

Urena had just left class at Mercy College when he was hit with a 13-inch hammer with a quarter sized head.

Speaking exclusively to CBS2’s Jessica Schneider, Urena said he hopes police find the suspect soon.

“I don’t want someone else to get hit,” he said.

Police now believe there was an additional attack at around 5:10 p.m. Monday in the vicinity of Madison Square Park on 27th and Madison Avenue, sources told CBS2.

In that incident, a 34-year-old woman was hit in the head with an unknown object.

Then, around 7:30 p.m., a 28-year-old woman as sitting on a bench in Union Square Park when the suspect struck her in the head with a hammer, police said.

About 10 minutes later, a 33-year-old woman was walking on West 17th Street when the suspect came up behind her and struck her in the back of the head, police said. The victim suffered a scalp injury.

She talked to Macedo via the phone.

“I was walking to the train station in Union Square and someone came up behind me and yelled something and then the next thing I know I was struck in the head. I initially I thought I got punched, but later on when I looked at my hand I was bleeding.”

The woman, who did not wish to be identified, said the man then ran off. “The only thing I could see was what he was wearing from the back.”

Macedo: “How did you end up getting help?”

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Victim: “Well, my boyfriend was there with me and there were a few people around.”

“She was very upset obviously,” store worker Williamson Brasfield told Macedo. “Her boyfriend also seemed upset.”

“She looked like she was in a lot of pain. She was bleeding and holding her head. She was crying,” A.I. Friedman salesman Xavier Franklin told CBS2’s Ilana Gold.

Three victims were treated at Lenox Hill Hospital and released. The woman who spoke to Macedo said she has four staples in her head but is expected to be OK.

Police identified a suspect and released a surveillance photo Tuesday afternoon.

One of the victims saw a man smoking a Newport cigarette on a park bench, moments before he launched an attack.

A police source told CBS2 that the cigarette box had been recovered from the crime scene and was being processed for DNA.

Sources tell CBS2 the suspect has a lenghty criminal history, Gold reported.

Police describe the suspect as a black man in his 30s with a medium build, wearing a black waist length jacket, dark-colored baseball hat, dark jeans, black sneakers, and a black backpack.

The incidents have many in the area concerned.

“We have to catch this person before he strikes again,” a woman who works nearby told 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck. “I work here at night…Now I’m going to be afraid to come down here because I don’t know what fool is going to turn the corner and knock me in the head.”

“It’s terrifying,” a woman who lives in the area said. “It gives me the shakes a little bit.”

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Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips to the Crime Stoppers website or texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.