NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A woman and her young child are recovering after they were attacked on a busy Upper East Side street.
Moments after the vicious attack, the cries of a small child rang out on East 86th Street near Lexington Avenue.READ MORE: CNN's Chris Cuomo Fired Over Involvement In Brother Andrew Cuomo's Response To Sexual Harassment Scandal
Cell phone video shows a man police have identified as 52-year-old Harlem resident Terrance Saxton being handcuffed and arrested.
It also shows the victim holding a bottle of cold water up to her bruised face.
It happened just after 11 a.m. Thursday.
Police say Saxton walked up to the 35-year-old woman from California and her two young kids. He was mumbling and cursing.
The woman tried to get her kids to safety, and that’s when cops say the man punched her once in the face. He then struck the victim’s 5-year-old son.
“I was shocked. I was really shocked,” witness David Solomons told CBS2’s Nick Caloway.
Solomons was nearby and took videos on his phone.READ MORE: Purple & Black Bunting Hung At Bronx Fire Station To Honor Late Probationary Firefighter Vincent Malveaux
A group of people saw the attacker trying to walk away and stopped him from going into a nearby subway station. They escorted Saxton to a bus bench, and moments later, cops showed up and handcuffed him.
“I’m surprised the guy didn’t get pummeled. I mean, I really thought somebody was going to take him out,” Solomons said.
Witnesses praised the good Samaritans for stopping the attacker from leaving, but the incident left some long-time neighbors rattled.
“I’m an actor and I always play a detective in stuff, so it’s like my first nature. ‘Who’s that? Who’s that?’ But that’s kind of me. People make fun of me because I’m like that. But actually I think we have to be really aware,” neighbor Diana Berry said.
Police say Saxton has an extensive criminal history with at least ten prior arrests, including assault on a transit employee.
This time, Saxton was charged with assault and harassment.
The mother and child who were struck were not seriously injured.MORE NEWS: 1 Killed In Paterson House Fire
CBS2’s Nick Caloway contributed to this report.