NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There was a terrifying attack over the weekend on one of the most popular streets in the Theater District.
A tourist walking with a friend was followed and then slashed.
The incident happened on Restaurant Row, a popular place for tourists. Early Saturday morning, a woman visiting from Michigan was heading back to her hotel when she was attacked, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported.
Police said the suspect, who was seen on surveillance outside Hotel RIU Plaza New York Times Square on West 46th Street, slashed the 23-year-old woman at around 4:30 a.m.
“Scary,” said Ana Cristina Batista, a tourist from Miami.
“That is unfortunate. I hope that she’s OK,” added Lisa Graye of Inwood.
The victim was walking with a friend along West 46th between Eighth and Ninth avenues when sources say the suspect began “cat calling” her. When she and her companion scoffed at his advances, police say the man pulled out a sharp object and slashed the woman across her chest and hand, and then ran off.
“You can never be too careful when you’re around here. It’s still New York,” said Jean Morales, who works in the area.
“It makes me feel … somewhere I have to be watchful around me,” added Tyrone Anthony of Hell’s Kitchen.
Anthony has been living in a Restaurant Row apartment since the early 1980s. He said increased homelessness and mental health issues have taken a toll on the neighborhood and may be part of the reason for a spike in crime.
“You have some mental problems that have not been addressed. It just has not been addressed well,” Anthony said.
Police said the injured tourist wasn’t seriously hurt and has already returned home. Visitors and locals alike say the violent attack hasn’t changed their feelings about the city.
“I see a lot of police … security. I’m safe. I think I’m safe,” Batista said.
“I think it’s just a matter of making sure that you’re aware of your surroundings, and always have someone that you can call. But personally, I’m not super concerned about the safety. I always feel safe here,” Graye added.
The injured tourist refused medical attention at the scene.