A judge was punched in the face while walking to work in New York City on Monday morning Fox News reported. Police have not yet identified the perpetrator or the motive for the attack.
Phyllis Chu, 56, a criminal court judge was walking to her job at the courthouse located at 100 Centre Street when a cyclist riding in the opposite direction punched her in the face. The male cyclist was described as heavy-set, wearing a blue and green shirt, and riding a Citi Bike. Citi Bike is a bike sharing service that operates in and around New York City.
Lucian Chalfen, a spokesman for New York City’s office of Court Administration described the incident. “With no words exchanged, a bicyclist riding in the opposite direction as the one she was walking in just punched her in the face and kept going,” he said. Judge Chu called the police and a subsequent search of the immediate area failed to locate the suspect. “The individual who may have been emotionally disturbed was nowhere to be found,’’ said Chalfen. So far, no witnesses to the incident have been found.
Chu continued to work and then was taken to the Beekman Downtown Hospital where she was treated for minor injuries and released later in the day.
Judge Chu has presided over a number of high-profile cases in her 3 years on the bench including a recent case involving actor Cuba Gooding Jr. who was accused of sexual assault. Other Chu cases concerned the husband of personality Bethenny Frankel and socialite Jocelyn Wildenstein. Wildenstein, known as the “Catwoman” for her many plastic surgeries devoted to changing her appearance to resemble a cat, was involved in a domestic violence dispute before Judge Chu in November of 2017.
The attack on Chu comes as New York City is suffering from a huge increase in violent crime. As reported by the Daily Mail (UK), shootings in the city were up 166 percent from 2019 during the four-week period ending on August 23. July saw murders in New York City up almost 60 percent from last year’s total.
More violent incidents occurred in New York City the last few days including a man, identified as Jose Reyes of the Bronx, caught on camera attempting to rape a woman in the subway on Saturday. Reyes was arrested and charged with attempted rape, assault, and harassment. Video of the event has circulated on the internet.
Hours after the attack on Chu two men in the Bronx were shot by an unidentified man. No motive has been given for the shooting and the suspect is still at large.
New York City has already slashed the police budget by $1 billion in response to calls to defund police departments by Black Lives Matter activists.