A 4-year-old boy was assaulted on Thursday in a random attack in Times Square, ABC-KABC reported.
Babacar Mbaye approached Rafaela Rivera as she was walking with her two children in Times Square around 3:20 p.m.
Ms. Rivera told KABC that she had just finished a photo shoot for her son, Angel, and their family opted to take advantage of the nice weather and go for a stroll in Times Square. During their walk, Ms. Rivera noticed a stranger — Mbaye — walking oddly towards them.
Ms. Rivera said, “I heard a smack like somebody got hit in the head with a bottle. I turn around and the baby is screaming, hollering, and crying.”
The NYPD say that the smack was caused by Mbaye swinging a closed fist at Ms. Rivera’s child and subsequently striking him in the head.
Ms. Rivera’s 4-year-old said, “The guy was walking weird and I was looking at him and I fell down on my head.”
Noticing her son’s assault, Ms. Rivera jumped into action and tried to apprehend the man who struck her child.
She said, “I was grabbing toward him and said, ‘Hey, you just hit my son.’ I grabbed him harder, and we both went down. He was on top of me, and I was not letting go.”
Ms. Rivera said that she was “outraged” over her son’s assault.
The police arrived as Ms. Rivera held down her son’s assailant. Mbaye has been charged with assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
“I don’t think it would happen,” Ms. Rivera said, “We didn’t even take the subway because of everything going on in the subway. We took a cab.”
Mbaye told the police that he “drank a whole bottle of hand sanitizer” and that he “shouldn’t have done this.”
In early February, WNBC-TV reported that rates of violent crime “were up sharply year-over-year.” WNBC said that rape was up 27%, robbery was up 33%, and felony assault was up by roughly 12%.
Crime in New York’s transit system is up by 70%.
This increase in violence throughout New York City’s transit system has led to Eric Adams, the Mayor of New York City, vowing to remove homeless people from train cars and subway stations.
Adams referred to homelessness as a “cancerous sore” and said that the city will begin to deploy more police and mental health workers throughout the city’s transit network.
Adam’s plan to remove homeless people from the subway system could help decrease the number of violent crimes committed along and throughout the city’s vast railway network.
However, as reported by the New York Post, 43% of the people who are arrested in New York City and let go without bail go on to be rearrested.
The Post reported that Mbaye, the man who assaulted a 4-year-old child, has three open misdemeanors for “assaulting strangers” and 16 prior misdemeanor convictions.
The judge presiding over the case ordered his bail to be set at $30,000.