Woman punched by group in random attack

N.J. Burkett reports from the Vinegar Hill section of Brooklyn.
March 5, 2014 8:22:02 PM PST
Four men assaulted a young woman in a vicious attack on the streets of Brooklyn.

New surveillance shows the men after what could be another case of the so-called "knockout game".

"It could have been me, just as easily it could have been her, and it's terrifying," a neighbor said.

She says it was traumatic. NYPD detectives say surveillance images show the suspects moments after they left their victim battered in the street. It was an apparently random assault on a Sunday afternoon with no obvious motive.

A neighbor, who asked Eyewitness News not to use her name, helped the victim moments after the attack. She says the woman had no idea why she was targeted.

"They were punching her, and they all surrounded her, and she was trying to fight back but there weren't too many people around," the neighbor said.

Neighbors and police say it appears to fit the pattern of the so-called knockout assaults of last year. Some of which remain unsolved.

Vinegar Hill is a rapidly-gentrifying community on the Brooklyn waterfront where neighbors told Eyewitness News crime has not been a serious issue. Police have stepped-up patrols and residents say they're concerned, but not worried.

"I feel like it's an isolated incident, that's probably not something that's going to happen, I don't think it's going to be a trend that we see happening over and over again," a woman said.

"I feel rather safe around here, it can happen anywhere," a man said.