NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – An off-duty NYPD officer was randomly attacked yesterday at a subway station in Lower Manhattan, police said.

It happened shortly after 3 p.m. at the Park Place subway station.

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Police said a man on the platform threw a metal bike chain at the 37-year-old female officer while she was on board a northbound 2 train.

The chain struck her in the face, causing swelling and bruising.

Police said the suspect then rode the train to Chamber Street, where he fled.

CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis spoke with a subway conductor who said these attacks are an “everyday occurrence.”

“I’m a transit worker and I can tell you that we hear these stories every single day. And the best thing you can tell someone is not to sit near the doors, like in that corner seat near the doors, because a lot of people do that, they do snatch-and-grabs,” Mary Almonte said.

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This comes as the MTA adds hundreds of uniformed officers to stations, platforms and moving trains.

“I know transit has hired cops to ride the trains, I guess we just need more police presence,” said Almonte.

The officer was taken to the hospital with swelling and bruising to her face.

“I think it’s crazy,” one commuter said. “Hopefully they catch him.”

“People just watch people and hit people and push people for no reason,” said Harlem resident Padia Bruce. “That’s why people say you can’t sleep on the subway no more – you know, a nap to go to work – because it’s dangerous.”

Sources told CBS2 the suspect was wearing a surgical mask at the time of the attack. He’s described as 6 feet 2 inches tall and 200 pounds.

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Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call the 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 274637.