A man was arrested after women reported being assaulted while walking in New York City
A man was arrested after women reported being assaulted while walking in New York City

Police on Wednesday arrested a man on assault charges following a recent spate of unprovoked attacks reported by women in New York City in which they say a stranger walked up to them and punched them in the head or face.

Skibocki Stora, 40, of Brooklyn, was arrested in connection with the attack on at least one woman this week while she was walking on the streets of Manhattan, an NYPD spokesman told USA TODAY.

According to police, a 23-year-old woman told police she was walking near West 16th Street and 7th Avenue around 10:20 a.m. Monday when an unknown person hit her in the head.

“The victim fell to the ground and suffered injuries to the left side of his face,” police wrote in an email to USA TODAY.

Police said the woman was treated at a local medical facility and the ensuing investigation led detectives to arrest Skora.

Police did not say what led them to the suspect.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Shkora was being held in jail and the investigation is ongoing.

It was not immediately known if he had secured an attorney.

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A similar attack on St. Patrick’s Day

A little more than a week earlier, on St. Patrick’s Day, about a mile and a half from where the attack reportedly took place, police said another woman reported being similarly attacked while walking her dog.

The attack involved a 25-year-old woman who said she was walking near Kenmare and Mulberry streets shortly before 11:50 a.m. local time when an unknown person punched her in the head.

There were no reports of casualties as a result of the attack, the police said.

So far, no suspects have been arrested in connection with that attack, police said Wednesday, and “it is unclear whether these incidents are related at this time.”

It was not immediately known if the attacks were connected, a police spokesman told USA TODAY on Wednesday.

“The investigation is ongoing,” the spokesman said.

Nearly half a dozen women also reported being hit

The attacks, confirmed by police, come after several other women said they had been similarly assaulted in recent weeks.

“this is so crazy there’s a bunch of women getting punched in the face in nyc rn all over tiktok,” X user @ymmayer posted on Monday “don’t know if it’s the same person some of the stories seem a little different but some of them look similar.”

The reported victims said an unidentified person attacked them while they were walking during the day in Manhattan. Some said they were using their phones during the attack.

“Guys, I was literally just walking and this man just came up and punched me in the face,” one woman posted on TikTok, visibly upset, holding her cheek.

In a handful of other videos posted on TikTok and X, other women said they were also assaulted by an unidentified man and sucker punched in the face or head.

“I’m in shock right now,” one victim said during a selfie video in a Tiktok post. “I was literally leaving class. I turned the coroner around and I was looking down and I was looking at my phone and I was about to text and then, out of nowhere, this guy just appeared and punched me in the face.”

“What the hell is going on?” another woman posted after also saying she was hit in the head unprovoked by a stranger.

“I’m literally trying not to cry,” another woman says in another online video. “I didn’t realize I was part of a group of women who were being hit on.”

USA TODAY contacted several of the women.

Anyone with information about the attacks or the person arrested is asked to contact the NYPD.

Natalie Neissa Alund is a senior reporter for USA TODAY. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her at X @nataliealund.

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