The police released a sketch of a "person of interest" wanted for questioning in the mugging of a 19-year-old in Riverside Park on Monday. Marisa Cortright, a Barnard sophomore from Oregon, was jogging in the park near 120th Street at 6 a.m. when a person grabbed her iPod and attacked her—according to the Post, she "was grabbed from behind, punched in the face and had her head slammed into a wall by the thug."
Cortright, who has been working as a resident advisor to summer students, lost consciousness and suffered bleeding on the brain, a fractured cheekbone and cuts to her face, head and neck. She was found by another parkgoer who then called 911. Cortright is recovering at St. Luke's Hospital and has been able to talk to police. While the Post and DNAinfo say that the man in the sketch—a 6-foot-2, heavyset black man in his mid-40s wearing a bright blue, long-sleeved shirt and black pants who was seen leaving the park—is a "person of interest," the Daily News says the man is a suspect. WCBS 2 also says the man is a person of interest:
Police said after being attacked, the woman slumped onto a nearby bench and lost consciousness. That's when someone found her later.
That person was about to play tennis with a friend when he saw the woman bleeding profusely from the face. Now [Police Commissioner] Kelly said police want to talk to this man who they describe as a black male in his 40s, between 6'2 and 6'4, about 235 pounds with a heavy build. He was wearing a long-sleeved bright blue t-shirt, and black pants.
A friend told the News, "She's a great girl, and this is awful something like this happened to her. It wasn't even like she was running at night or in a dangerous place," while another said, "I know that I've walked in Riverside Park, in that area, alone, although not as early as she did." Still, Barnard Director of Security Dianna Pennetti emailed students, "In light of this and other incidents in the neighborhood, I urge you to take your personal safety into consideration at all times. In particular, when entering the park in the early morning, around dusk, and after dark, always go with a friend and be aware of your surroundings."