NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police are looking for a man who was caught on camera viciously attacking a woman in Hell’s Kitchen.
It happened on Jan. 1 around 12:01 a.m. at 10th Avenue and 51st Street.
Video shows the man punch the 63-year-old woman in the face, knocking her to the ground, before hitting her with what appears to be a stereo or a boom box on wheels.
Investigators say the victim did not know her attacker.
Esther Guzman’s face is still swollen after she ushered in 2020 with a trip to the hospital.
“When he passed by me, he started cursing at me, saying a lot of bad words. ‘Why are you saying that?’ ‘Oh yeah, you mother…’ and that’s when he hit me and he threw me on the floor,” Guzman told CBS2’s Christina Fan.
She was walking home when the attack happened.
“I got up when I saw I was bleeding here on my elbow, on my knees and bleeding through my nose. I got all these things and this big bump here,” Guzman said.
Neighbors who live in the area say they’re stunned the assault happened on a night of celebration when the city was packed with security.
“I mean, there were a lot of police around the area, so I’m surprised that someone would consider even trying something. I mean, two blocks away, we had barricades, police everywhere, so I am surprised,” Katie Clyne, of Hell’s Kitchen, said.
“See, I don’t feel safe no more on the streets at night because you don’t know who’s out here,” one man said.
Police say the suspect is known to walk around the Hell’s Kitchen area and play music from a device that he holds in his hand.
Anthony Hernandez works at a local deli and believes the man is a frequent customer of his. He believes the man has been violent before.
“We’ve had problems with him before. He fights with my bosses and my cooker,” Hernandez said.
Guzman says after going to the emergency room to get treatment, she came back to the scene herself to uncover surveillance videos of her attacker. That’s how determined she is to catch him.
“I don’t know him. I was minding my own business. I was happy and I don’t know why from nowhere he hit me,” she said.
Now, she’s sharing her story to try to remove him off the street.
Anyone who has information regarding this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-8477 or for Spanish, 1-888-577-4782. Tips can also be sent to the NYPDTips Twitter account or submitted online at NYPDCrimeStoppers.com.