Women in NYC (Including Bethenny Frankel?) Say They’re Getting Randomly Punched in the Face

A scary amount of TikToks has shown that unprovoked assaults are seemingly on the rise in NYC.

Women in NYC (Including Bethenny Frankel?) Say They’re Getting Randomly Punched in the Face

In recent weeks, a startling trend has emerged on TikTok. No, it’s not the audio of a certain off-putting heterosexual couple who eat out and go on vacation a lot. Instead, multiple young women have shared that they’ve been sucker-punched on the streets of New York.

It all started on March 17, when a woman called Olivia Brand reported she’d been randomly punched by an unidentified man while walking on the sidewalk.

“I literally got punched in the head on the sidewalk,” she said in the video. “He goes, ‘Sorry,’ and then punches me in the head.” Brand, who was walking her dog near Kenmare Street and Mulberry Street said she’d filed a police report but no arrests have been made yet.

Then, one week later, Halley Kate, an influencer with 1.1 million followers on TikTok, posted a video explaining how she got what appeared to be a gargantuan goose egg on her forehead.

“You guys, I was literally just walking, and a man came up and punched me in the face,” Kate explained, visibly tearful. In two follow up videos, Kate went on to describe the attack, saying that a man walking a dog had “body-checked” her and that she wasn’t certain whether he’d punched or elbowed her as she’d fallen to the ground and blacked out. “Oh my God, it was so bad, I can’t even talk.”

It’s not clear where that assault took place, but she told followers she had also filed a police report and had gone to the hospital. According to a report from USA Today, a 40-year-old man, Skiboky Stora, was arrested in connection to the attack of at least one unidentified woman who sounds quite a lot like Kate. Police didn’t release the name of the woman, but said the attack occurred on West 16th Street and 7th Avenue on Monday–the same day, and reportedly, near the same area as hers.
The same day of Kate’s assault, another woman named Mikayla Toninato tagged Kate in a post in which she recounted an eerily similar story.

“I just got punched in the face, walking home,” Toninato, who has what looked like a black eye, said. “I was literally like leaving class, I turned the corner and I was looking down and I was looking at my phone, and like texting, and then, out of nowhere, this man just came up and hit me in the face.” In a separate video, she said that her assault took place on West 14th Street and 5th Avenue.

Now, we all know Bethenny Frankel loves an internet trend, but apparently, she has also recently fallen prey to a random punch on a Manhattan sidewalk. In a since-deleted comment on Toninato’s post, the former Real Housewife said she’d been assaulted on a Manhattan street earlier this year.

“This is insane bc this happened to me a few months ago but I was embarrassed to say,” she wrote on Tuesday. “I was on the UWS [Upper West Side]. Insane. I was taking video of a bakery.” Again, the comment now appears to be removed from the post, so, perhaps she was, in fact, very embarrassed by what happened.

Most recently, on Wednesday, another young woman, @meredithfryy, posted a TikTok claiming she, too, had nearly been punched while walking to class on Madison Avenue, between 44th and 45th Street. “I’m sure we’ve all seen the fucking…probably 10 videos of the girlies that are getting socked in the face in New York City,” she said. “I was very close to getting socked in the face today.” She then goes on to describe noticing a man standing on the sidewalk who abruptly grabbed her arm and moved to strike her. Ultimately, she evaded him and was able to flee.

There’s no telling whether these attacks are in any way connected yet, but some suspect that they’re part of a truly twisted game called “the knockout game” in which a person is struck in an entirely random, unprovoked attack for…amusement?

You’d think with all the police around New York these days things like this wouldn’t happen as often—or, they’d at least have identified the person or people doing the punching. It’s almost as if…they’re…ineffective.

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