The woman who was brutally sucker-punched on a Lower East Side street last month is speaking out to warn others. Susan Farina told NBC New York, "I've never had any fear here in Manhattan until now. And, now, I'm extremely fearful. If I'm out, and it's dark out, I'm scared."
On September 25th, Farina was walking her dog on Essex Street between Grand and Hester Streets around 9:41 p.m. when, DNAinfo reports, a man walking with two others approached her from behind and punched her on the right side of her face.
Farina's face was swollen and bleeding. She said she didn't even remember hitting the ground, but was hit so hard she was knocked out of her shoes. "It felt like somebody hit me with a two-by-four. I saw stars," she said.
She also recalled that she had actually passed the group but then one said, "I’m gonna do it, yo. I’m gonna do it, yo."
Police believe that the assault may be a "knock out game" incident, where attackers hit random people without warning or provocation. The 7th Precinct issued this wanted poster:
In 2013 and 2014 there was a reported spate of assaults that some victims said were part of the "knockout game," but the NYPD cautioned at the time that not all of the alleged "knockout game" beatings were in fact part of a perceived trend. The phenomenon faded from the headlines over time, and it remains difficult to prove with certainty what attacks can be attributed to the "game."