LEVITTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A 36-year-old mother of a toddler was beaten unconscious and remains hospitalized after a brutal encounter with a violent stranger outside a Levittown coffee shop.
It happened Tuesday at 3:30 p.m., when the suspect hurled a rock at her minivan.
“I got a coffee, coming out of the Starbucks lot, and a man, I saw him throw,” the victim told CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan.
She pulled over, her 3-year-old daughter still in the car. The suspect then stole her cellphone and punched her to the ground as she called 911 to report the crime, according to police.
“She was knocked out cold for over a minute,” Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said.
With the help of multiple good Samaritans, police flooded the scene along the busy Hempstead Turnpike and found the suspect: James Martins, 34, of East Meadow. Martins allegedly tore the badge off one of the officers and punched him in the face during the arrest.
“You got the wrong guy,” he said as he was being escorted by police.
Witnesses emerged from from a gasoline station and other nearby businesses.
“It was heartbreaking when we saw this, it was difficult,” said witness Tyler Garrett.
“Saw him punching the woman’s face with the kid in the back,” said witness Chelsea Duarte.
“It’s disturbing,” said Christine Cotto. “To be honest you just shouldn’t get out of your car, regardless if someone throws a rock at your car.”
“He just chose this victim at random,” Ryder said. “And this poor woman, the 3-year-old child had to watch the assault on the mother.”
The good Samaritans jumped in to help save the victim as she was being pummeled and cared for her child. They also helped the arresting officer as the suspect began attacking him.
“I have a concussion, I have stitches in my head, my lips, two black eyes,” the victim told CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan.
The victim told McLogan the attack left her daughter very scared.
Martins faces assault, robbery, criminal mischief, endangering the welfare of child, resisting arrest and possession of marijuana charges.