NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police have a suspect in custody after another woman was attacked in Brooklyn on Monday.
Police believe the same person is responsible for attacking at least five women in a Bushwick subway station.
Surveillance video shows a man pounce on a woman working behind the counter at the Sunflower Glass Company Smoke Shop on Wilson Avenue just after 5 p.m. Monday.
He holds her down, punching the woman again and again, and when she tries to get up, he grabs her hair, trying to restrain the woman even as she sends a message for help on her computer.
“He honestly could’ve killed her when he had her in the chokehold right there,” said Benjamin Bates, the victim’s co-worker.
Bates told CBS2’s Ali Bauman the suspect hangs around outside the store often and even bought something there earlier that day.
“He would come by the store and, you know, linger around,” he said.
The victim says physically she’s OK, but mentally, she’s still recovering.
On Tuesday, police arrested 29-year-old Khari Covington. He’s charged with seven counts of assaults as hate crimes and two counts of robbery as a hate crime.
Investigators now believe this same man is responsible for brutally beating at least five different women at the Morgan Avenue subway station since November.
One of the victims, Elizabeth Wakefield, spoke to CBS2 Monday.
“My first thought after it happened to me was I don’t want this to happen it’s somebody else,” she said.
All of the victims have been women in their late twenties to early thirties. All the attacks were random and unprovoked.
Sources tell CBS2 the suspect lives in a nearby homeless shelter and made statements to police about targeting certain types of women.
“He’s just crazy. He’s just hurting people. It’s just pure evil,” Bates said.
Police had arrested a 50-year-old man last week in connection to the attacks and charged him with four counts of third degree assault, but all the charges against him have since been voided.
Some of the victims say they are relieved Covington is now in custody and hope this puts an end to the string of attacks.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the victim in the Sunflower Glass Company Smoke Shop attack. To contribute, please click here.
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