NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Five New Yorkers were attacked at random in Manhattan’s bustling Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood this week, despite the NYPD’s reassurances that crime is down citywide.
In the Midtown North Precinct, felony assaults are actually up. The city has put flood lights in the area to try and deter criminals, but if this week is any indication they’ll have to do a whole lot more.
Only CBS2’s cameras were there when police arrested 23-year-old Jobache BuPont on Friday. Sources tell CBS2 BuPont was arguing with someone by a fruit stand at W. 43rd Street around 11 a.m. When a 52-year-old man tried to break up the scuffle, police say BuPont hit him over the head with a broomstick so hard its handle snapped.
The victim was taken to NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue with a laceration to his head.
The outburst happened only a few hours, and a few blocks, from where police say 27-year-old Methias Edward randomly attacked two people around 7 a.m. In surveillance video from the scene, you can see the suspect walk along 10th Avenue, where he turns around, approaches a 59-year-old man, and smacks him in the head with a metal lock box.
He then kicks a 37-year-old woman about her body. CBS2’s cameras were there when police took Edward into custody. Both of his alleged victims were treated at the scene for their injuries.
“There’s been some incidents of people coming from Port Authority and doing stuff over here,” Hell’s Kitchen resident Courtney Edwards said. “I don’t know if it’s the homeless population or anything like that, but that’s what we’ve been concerned about.”
Before the pair of attacks Friday, police said a man was randomly slashed in the face by a group of men at Eighth Avenue and West 47th Street shortly after midnight. The victim was taken to an area hospital, where he remains in stable condition.
On Monday, another serious assault was reported near the corner of 10th Avenue and 58th Street.
“I’m not a fan of the homeless,” one person said. “I don’t know if that’s the reason why these things are happening but I do know unfortunately it’s caused problems.”
Felony assaults are up ten percent in the area compared to this time last year, according to the city. It’s no surprise to people who live and work in the area.
“A few months ago I was myself almost attacked by a homeless person,” resident Yedid Flaquer said. “I reported it to police, but I didn’t know other people were attacked too.”
Both suspects taken into custody Friday were charged with assault.
Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74682). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.