NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A close-knit Queens community was on edge late Tuesday, as police searched for a suspect who punched a 74-year-old woman on her way to the subway.
As CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported, the attack happened around 5:15 p.m. back on Sunday, May 1, at the 65th Street station in Woodside.
The woman was walking down the stairs when a man walking up the stairs “got in her face,” police said. The man then punched the woman and fled the station, police said.
Surveillance video showed the man sauntering down the sidewalk at 69th Street and 38th Avenue just after the attack.
“Woodside is an area everyone pretty much knows each other, especially around this neighborhood, and we never really have to worry about anything happening to any of us — least of all our elderly,” said Lauren Moriarty.
The woman told police she did not know the man and police have no motives, CBS2’s Bauman reported.
“It’s not only here,” said Elsa Ayala. “It’s in Manhattan, in the Bronx, Brooklyn, it’s everywhere.”
“Things have been getting pretty bad lately in New York, so unfortunately, I’m not surprised, but I’m definitely surprised that it’s so close to home,” said Sabine Ramirez.
The victim was taken to the hospital where she was treated and released. Police said she was experiencing pain and dizziness from being hit on the left side of her head.
“Whatever he did to her, I’d do 10 times worse to him,” said Jean Beaujin. “That’s crazy.”
The 65th Street subway station, serving the M and R trains and the E Train during late nights, is also next to a playground. Parents there said they are now on high alert.
“When I come, I feel safe, but now that I know this happened, we might look for some other place,” said Alva Mejia.
“You’re not allowed to walk around with weapons, so you just have to be aware of your surroundings, and that’s really all you can do,” said Ramirez.
Some in the neighborhood said they recognized the man from the video as a local homeless person. As of late Tuesday afternoon, there had been no arrests.
Investigators describe him as a black man between 5 feet 10 inches and 6 feet tall, and said he was last seen wearing a red jacket and blue jeans.
Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782), visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.