Second arrest after multiple women share stories of random punching attacks in NYC on TikTok

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Saturday, March 30, 2024
New Yorkers react to random punching attacks in the city
Anthony Carlo spoke to several women about the terrifying attacks.

CHELSEA, Manhattan (WABC) -- Two suspects have been arrested in separate attacks after several women have come forward this week to share their stories of being punched in New York City.

It all started when TikTok influencer Halley McGookin -- who goes by "Halley Kate" -- made a tearful video recalling an attack on March 25 near W 16th St and 7th Avenue.

McGookin posted several times about the assault on social media and within a few days, her story has gotten over five million likes.

Skiboky Stora, 40, has since been charged in the attack. He was held on $10,000 bail at his arraignment on Thursday.

Courtroom pool photo of Skiboky Stora

Curtis Means

When shown surveillance video recovered from near Monday morning's attack, Stora told detectives, "Yeah that's me walking my dog."

Stora himself has somewhat of a following on Instagram. He maintains multiple TikTok accounts showing him aggressively approaching police and strangers, many of them women.

A second suspect, 30-year-old Mallik Miah, was arrested in Greenwich Village on Thursday and charged with assault.

He is accused of punching 27-year-old Mikayla Toninato in the face as she walked out of class in front of 65 Fifth Avenue in Greenwich Village at around 2 p.m. Monday afternoon.

"Out of no where this man just came up and hit me in the face," Toninato said in a video posted on TikTok.

Miah is charged with misdemeanor assault which is not bail eligible and was released on supervised released. He has not been linked to any other assaults.

Both arrests come on the heels of a recent wave of women saying they were also randomly punched while walking in New York City.

Amid McGookin's viral video about her attack, the NYPD can now account for at least six other punchings where the victims later posted a TikTok describing their experiences between March 17 and March 26.

Karina Dunford says she was one of those victims.

The 24-year-old model who lives in Brooklyn, described on TikTok the moment someone punched her in broad daylight in Chelsea Tuesday.

"I was hit in the head forcefully, it felt like a blunt object," she said on TikTok.

Eyewitness News reporter Linsday Tuchman spoke to her about the attack.

"My head continued to hurt until after the police arrived, but the emotional toll was honestly pretty terrifying, I was just shaking and not a lot jars me," Dunford said.

Dunford says that if it can happen to her, it could happen to anybody.

"We should always believe victims especially when there's physical trauma," Dunford said.

All of the incidents happened within the last two weeks and all happened in Manhattan -- specifically Midtown and below.

Police say there's no evidence these attacks are connected, but the New York City Council's Women's Caucus says it's still deeply concerned.

"It then means women, we need to be more vigilant," said Councilwoman Julie Menin said.

Police are investigating the following attacks that were reported after the initial video went viral:

- March 17 at 11:48 a.m.: 25-year-old Oliva Brand says she was punched in the head while walking her dog at Kenmare Street and Mulberry Street in Nolita. She says the man who hit her apologized.

- March 19 at 8 p.m.: 30-year-old Sarah Suzuki Harvard says she was punched on Delancey Street at Essex Street on the Lower East Side. She says she did not report the incident.

- March 23 at 1:30 p.m.: A 25-year-old woman says she was slapped in the forehead by an individual at West 42nd Street and Seventh Avenue in Midtown. The NYPD released photos of the suspect wanted.

- March 25: A 36-year-old woman says she was punched in the back by a man who ran up behind her at Rivington and Chrystie streets on the Lower East Side. She reportedly refused medical attention.

- March 25 at around 2 p.m.: 27-year-old Mikayla Toninato says she was punched in the face at West 14th Street and Fifth Avenue in Greenwich Village. She says she reported the incident two days later.

- March 26 at 12:43 p.m.: 24-year-old Karina Dunford says she was punched in the head in front of 717 Avenue of the Americas in Chelsea. She reportedly refused medical attention. The NYPD released a photo of the suspect wanted in the attack.

ALSO READ | Woman sucker punched in Crown Heights recounts the frightening attack

CeFaan Kim has the exclusive interview with the victim of an unprovoked attack in Brooklyn.


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