NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It was a shocking attack in Brooklyn that was caught on camera. A 71-year-old woman was walking down the street when she was knocked out by a stranger.
As police search for her attacker, she shared with CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis just how slow her road to recovery has been.
“My jaw broke. When I went to the hospital they did surgery. I had cuts inside my mouth, about five stitches,” Joan Baptiste said on Tuesday.
Baptiste, a grandmother of 11 and mother of three, woke up nearly two weeks ago in the hospital in terrible shape, but thought a bad fall was what sent her into the operating room. She had no recollection of being slugged.
“I did not know nothing,” Baptiste said.
That is, until she saw the disturbing video which shows a stranger walk right up to her and sucker punch her, leaving her on the ground unconscious, as he casually strolls off.
“If you have mother or parents or family you would never do such thing to nobody. You’d try to help somebody when they need help,” Baptiste said.
Originally from Grenada, Baptiste has lived in Brooklyn for the last 26 years. She said she was walking home from her job as a daycare worker on Sept. 19 along New York Avenue at around 5:30 p.m. when she was attacked. All she remembers is hearing someone say “We have to call 911.”
“When I saw the video I was so devastated I cried because all along we thought she fell, because when I went to the hospital Friday morning to see her she said she fell. I said how did you fall and damage your face like this?” friend and neighbor Carlita Ellis said.
Her friend said if police didn’t have the video they may have never found out what happened on that day. Police traced back to where Baptiste was left unconscious and that’s how they found the surveillance footage.
“God is good. It could have been worse. I could have been dead,” Baptiste said.
She said her focus now, as she sits with her face swollen and bandaged up, is on her recovery.
When asked how she feels about her attacker still being on the loose, Baptiste said, “Well, nothing happens a first time. He will be found sometime.”
She’s letting the NYPD focus on finding the man and getting him off the street.
Police believe the suspect is emotionally disturbed.
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.