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NYPD is searching for a female attacker who struck an Asian woman with a hammer on W42nd Street near 9th Avenue yesterday evening (Sunday). This evening they released a video showing the frenzied attack. The victim and her friend wrestled the hammer from the assailant during the confrontation.
The attack took place on the sidewalk between Ollie’s Restaurant and the West Bank Cafe at around 8:45pm. Police responded to the assault and are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.
Steve Olsen, the owner of West Bank Cafe, was sitting outside the restaurant when the incident happened. “I came around to the front of the restaurant and there was a woman sitting in a chair. I initially assumed that she had fainted. She had a cold compress on her head,” Olsen said. “Police told me that she’d been hit over the head with a hammer. I was only 6 feet away, but saw nothing. We have cameras inside the restaurant, but not trained on the outside.”
Police reported that the victim was walking on W42nd Street when she was approached by another woman who asked her to take off her mask. The assailant then struck the Asian woman with a hammer before fleeing towards 9th Avenue. The 31-year-old woman was treated at NYU Langone Hospital for her injuries. Eyewitness News interviewed the victim, who only wants to be known as Theresa, this evening.
The assault was only a block away from where a 65-year-old Asian woman, Vilma Kari, was brutally attacked a month ago.
Olsen told us: “When theaters open again, cops will come back. You don’t see their presence on the beat — only when something happens. I don’t want to be talking about this, but it’s the reality — this has got to be sorted.” Olsen was quoted in a recent New York Post front page that outlined crime problems in Hell’s Kitchen.
So far police have issued no description or photos.
If you have any information about the assault — call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). You can also share information confidentially on their website or via Twitter @NYPDTips