A 9-year-old girl was punched in the head as she walked near Central Park, New York, with her mom and a doorman stepped in to stop the assailant from running.
Suspect Raheem Ramsarran, 27, allegedly punched the young tourist in the left side of her head on Monday morning, police sources said.
The victim was a tourist visiting with her family from Miami when she was attacked by a man who was said to be ‘screaming at people.’
“We saw a man with a backpack, a red hoodie and a beige jacket screaming at people and people literally running away from him and he was just like yelling,” said Kimberly Thomas, 24, who saw the incident from her place of work at a nearby COVID-19 testing booth.
Another witness was Neil Johnson who was at his job as a doorman at The Plaza Hotel, nearby, when he heard the suspect yelling and ran to the scene to help.
“I saw the woman crying and they’re running away from this guy and he’s walking fast toward them. So got to do something,” the 60-year-old told the New York Post. “I got in between them and this crazy guy. And then another guy joined me, who apparently saw the whole thing happen. So we just made sure that this person couldn’t go.”
Johnson said he saw the injured girl holding her head and added that she was clearly in pain. He alerted police while he was trying to make sure the suspect didn’t attack her again, as per the publication.
The girl was treated at the scene and her mom declined any further medical treatment. The girl’s name is unknown.
Police said Ramsarran was arrested 15 minutes after the alleged assault. He was taken to Midtown North precinct and is currently in custody.
“After he realized he couldn’t go any further, we weren’t going to let him, he stayed there and started yelling, ‘Where are the cops? Where are the cops?’” Johnson said.
The motive for the alleged attack is yet unknown as investigations continue.
Johnson said it seemed “pretty clear” the suspect was suffering from mental health issues. In his 24 years working at the Plaza, he said he’s never seen something like this before.
When he learned the girl and her mother were tourists he said they probably won’t ever want to come to New York City again.
“She’s not going to be ok. She’s traumatized. Can you imagine?”
I hope this young girl is okay and she and her mom are now safe. Sending her best wishes for a full recovery.
I hope she understands that this alleged suspect is clearly not in his right mind and needs help; I’m glad he’s now off the streets.