A tourist who refused to buy some Statue of Liberty tickets suffered a fractured skull after being assaulted by an alleged ticket agent.
Police say that tourist William White, 33, an Arkansas resident who was visiting the city with his wife Shelly, was near the Staten Island Ferry terminal around 3:30 p.m. on Monday when the incident happened. After White reportedly declined to purchase the Statue of Liberty tickets from a female vendor, suspect Robert Anderson, 25, allegedly walked over and punched White in the face. White hit his head on the pavement, and the two vendors fled the scene.
White was taken to Bellevue Hospital with a fractured skull; he is currently in stable condition. Cops confirmed that Anderson has been taken into custody today, and say charges are pending. They described him as a career criminal with 10 prior arrests including robbery, drugs and petit larceny; he is currently on probation for burglary.
The Post adds that investigators also know the identity of the female suspect, and their sources say she was arrested in December for a similar incident "in which she assaulted a person to whom she tried to sell tickets."
De Blasio addressed the incident at a press conference yesterday afternoon, telling reporters, "We’re going to crack down on anyone who commits a crime in this city and particularly if there’s any kind of organized effort, we want to get at its root and cut it off. If there’s something aimed at tourists or aimed at the Staten Island Ferry we will get at it very very aggressively...We obviously deeply appreciate that people come to visit us. We had the highest number of tourists we’ve ever had last year — 58 million plus — and we want to keep it that way."
Last year, a con man was arrested after he allegedly charged a pair of tourists $200 each for tickets on the Staten Island Ferry. Parks advocates added that scammers had brazenly active in Battery Park ripping off tourists.