NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A shocking attack at a quiet park near the north tip of Manhattan has residents concerned.

Along the Hudson River is the peaceful oasis of Fort Tryon Park.

“It’s a nice reprieve from New York City life,” Washington Heights resident Katherine Liccardo said.

But on Tuesday, one winding trail of this bucolic escape was stained in blood, the remnants of a violent attack.

Fort Tryon Park (CBS 2)

Just before 6 p.m. on Monday, a 40-year-old ophthalmologist was heading home after work, walking through the park to her car. Police said a man she didn’t know grabbed her from behind, put his hand over her mouth and slashed her neck.

It was the first violent crime committed in Fort Tryon Park since 2013. Many locals were shocked.

“It kind of surprised me because I’ve been coming for a couple of months or so,” said Pravwen Sewgobind of central Harlem.

“It gives me pause and makes me want to be a little more careful when I’m walking around, but I also try not to be here late,” added Tom Kelly of Washington Heights. “But that doesn’t seem like it was late.”

Police told CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez crime inside Fort Tryon Park is pretty rare. The latest crime stats show there were no felony crimes reported between Jan. 1 and June 30 of this year. Last year there was a total five robberies.

The Department of Parks and Recreation is increasing patrols in Fort Tryon in response to the latest attack. Seven Parks Enforcement Patrol officers currently cover all the northern Manhattan parks. Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver said that may need to change.

“We always go back to look at the location to see exactly what the circumstances may be, about the environment, lighting, location,” Silver said.

Police were searching the wooded area for any evidence that would lead them to the attacker. The victim was hospitalized, but is expected to be fine.

Police have not released a description of the suspect.

Anyone with information about the attack is asked to call NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or 1-888-57-PISTA (74782) for Spanish. You can also submit a tip via the Crime Stoppers website, by Tweeting @NYPDTips or by texting a tip to 274637.


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