A New York woman was walking down the street Monday, minding her own business, when a man randomly shoved a bag of poop down her pants and then ran away, WNBC (New York) is reporting. Hours later, another woman reported a similar attack.
The first assault occurred Monday at about 6 p.m. The 27-year-old woman, who declined to be identified, was walking along East 74th Street near First Avenue in Manhattan’s Upper East Side when a man, whom she didn’t know, approached her from behind, grabbed her waist, and then shoved the bag of poop down her pants.
The two struggled, then the assailant tore off a pair of latex gloves that he’d been wearing, threw them to the ground, and ran off.
The assault was captured on surveillance video.
In a second, similar attack, the same suspect allegedly threw a bag of feces into the face of another woman, this time on East 91st Street near Madison Avenue, according to the New York Daily News.
At this point, it bears noting that WABC and the Daily News give conflicting accounts of the timeline of the two assaults. WABC reports that the first assault took place at 6 p.m. and that the assailant shoved the bag of feces down the victim’s pants, followed by the poop-throwing assault hours later. However, the Daily News reports that the poop-throwing assault was the first assault, at about 2:25 p.m., followed by the second assault at around 6 p.m.
The Daily News, in an article entitled “Diarrhea of a Madman,” described the assailant as “Public Enemy Number Two.”
NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce described the assailant as “completely deranged.” Cops conducted a block-by-block search for the suspect but were unable to find their suspect. However, eventually tips started coming in, and police narrowed down two possible suspects. They eventually honed in on one suspect, and he was nabbed at a Brooklyn homeless shelter. The unidentified man is currently in custody, and charges are pending.
Although the two poop attacks happened in one of the toniest neighborhoods in Manhattan, area residents said that the assaults are a reminder that crime can happen anywhere in the Big Apple.
“Everybody says, ‘I can’t believe it happens in my neighborhood,’ but that’s nonsense. It can happen anywhere. I think it’s a terrible thing.”
Area resident Janet Fogelson said that women need to be extra careful when they’re out in public.
“Women have to be aware when they walk in the city because of something like this. t’s really very scary for women.”
And area resident Peter Stockman said that even though there are homeless people in his well-heeled part of town, they’re usually not a problem.
“I have never heard of anything like this before. It’s bizarre and unusual. There are homeless people in the area, but they’re usually quite polite.”
In fact, New York, like some other American cities, is dealing with a homelessness problem that is getting worse by the day. Mayor Bill de Blasio has stepped up efforts to address the problem, including investing $2.6 billion in supportive housing, as well as conducting city-wide outreach to get the homeless the help they need.