Kara James, one of the "desnuda" women who pose painted and topless for tips in Times Square, was standing nearby when her friend and fellow desnuda Amanda Roman was allegedly punched and scratched by a woman in Times Square on Saturday afternoon.
"Amanda was taking a picture with a woman and another younger woman just rushed up and starting hitting her," James told us. "It was completely unprovoked."
Roman was reportedly talking to a female tourist about taking a photograph with the tourist's husband on Saturday afternoon, when the alleged assailant, Angela Portalatin, screamed at Roman and began punching her. According to the NY Post, Portalatin said to Roman, "You're a nasty whore! You disgust me!" Roman reportedly fought back.
The police handcuffed both Roman and Portalatin, and took them into custody. Neither woman pressed charges.
In video footage of the attack, bystanders can be heard expressing indignation that Roman is being handcuffed: "Why is she in handcuffs?" and, "She didn't do nothing."
James said of the NYPD's response to the attack, "They [the officers] responded fairly quickly, but not before the girl had already cut Amanda's face. I'm not sure if it was a ring, or just her fist. Maybe her nails."
Before handcuffing Roman, James says the cops "allowed her to get dressed."
Last month, Roman was among three desnudas lured to the Midtown South Precinct to retrieve their clothing after NYPD officers arrested their helper, Christopher Olivieri, on an outstanding trespassing warrant. According to all three women, the NYPD officers questioned them in their robes.
On Saturday, the officers were "definitely respectful towards Amanda compared to the attacker, but the attacker kept arguing and struggling and swearing," James said. "It seemed like the attacker was either a bit drunk or on drugs—she seemed very irrational."
According to James, officers did not un-cuff Roman while she waited at the Midtown South Precinct following the attack. They did, however, give her some water.
In an interview with the Daily News on Sunday, Roman said, "The way everything seems, they [the cops] want us to get beat up. They came after [Portalatin attacked] and broke up the fight. I'm not afraid but I do feel like something like this could happen again."
Last month, she and her friends told us that harsh comments are rare, but not unheard of. James believes the physical attacks, however, are a byproduct of the recent uptick in media attention.
"You know what is interesting? We NEVER experienced this level of aggression or harassment from civilians before all of the news attention," James told us in August, after a Bank of America Executive was arrested and charged with assault for allegedly beating a desnuda who he believed had stolen is wallet, as well as the friend who came to her defense. "We've been criminalized in the news and now people seem to think they can hurt us with impunity."
Today she reiterated, "All the negative media coverage has managed to accomplish is to criminalize us."