Suspect arrested for sucker punching 71-year-old Brooklyn woman was out on probation

PROSPECT LEFFERTS GARDENS, Brooklyn (WABC) -- A 27-year-old man is facing assault charges after allegedly sucker-punching a 71-year-old woman and leaving her unconscious on the ground in Brooklyn.

Joan Baptiste was walking on the street when the attacker approached and punched her in the face, knocking her to the ground and breaking her jaw.

The NYPD released surveillance video from the incident, which happened just before 5:30 p.m. on September 19 on New York Avenue in the Prospect Lefferts Gardens section.

Jaquan Wittle was arrested in the attack and walked by police on Tuesday. Authorities say he was out on probation for an attempted rape in a Brooklyn subway station two years ago.

The mother of three and grandmother of 11 was walking home from her job at a day care on Montgomery Street when she was suddenly punched.

Baptiste said she had never met or even seen the man before and has no idea why he attacked her. She's just grateful it wasn't worse.

"God is good," she said. "It could have been worse. I could have been dead. If it had happened in the street, with vehicles coming and they pass over me, then it could have been worse. So I thank God it happened that way."

Baptiste was born in Grenada and has lived in New York City for more than 40 years. She'll continue her recovery in her apartment of 26 years.

Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). Tips can also be submitted by visiting the CrimeStoppers website or Twitter @NYPDTips.

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