By Sabina Mollot
A 13-year-old girl who’s been staying at the Administration for Children’s Services building at First Avenue and 29th Street has been arrested for allegedly assaulting a woman on that street corner, breaking the victim’s nose.
The victim, a 25-year-old woman, told Town & Village that on Sunday, July 1 at 2:30 p.m., she was walking on First Avenue and East 29th Street when she saw a group of teenagers. Not thinking they looked especially intimidating, she kept walking. However, one of the female members of the group then approached her. She said, “Do you want to fight?” the woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, recalled. But before she could answer, the girl punched her in the face, breaking her nose and knocking out her contact lens. The force of the blow knocked the woman down and the teen then began punching her and pulling her hair, while the woman, in a fetal position, tried to block. This went on until a couple pulled up to the scene in a car, which scared the group off.
Later, the victim said she was able to find the suspect with police and learned the girl’s age, which surprised her since the suspect, who was about 5 ft. 4 inches tall, looked about 18.
Along with a broken nose, the assault also left the victim with a herniated disc in her neck, she said, and her insurance isn’t covering all the related medical costs. Adding insult to her literal injuries, the victim said she was told by the man who pulled up in the car that one of the teens appeared to be recording the assault.
“So I may be on YouTube somewhere,” she said.
Police confirmed that there is a report on this incident, but said the department couldn’t comment further due to the suspect’s age.
In recent months, Town & Village has reported on a number of alarming arrests of teenagers staying at the Administration of Children’s Services building in Kips Bay, mostly for robbery, occasionally for violence.
On June 20, an 18-year-old was arrested for allegedly robbing a man for his cell phone on East 20th Street and Second Avenue.
Earlier in the month, 10 ACS teens were arrested for punching and kicking a man and stealing his phone in front of Bellevue Hospital on May 29.
On June 14, two teens, a boy and a girl, were arrested for robbing a man tasked with being their driver, right outside the ACS facility.
In May, multiple teens were arrested for separate robberies, one in which a man was choked until he lost consciousness on East 18th Street.
In another incident, a man was punched in the back of the head in Chinatown, and in another incident, a woman had a Pringles can thrown at her head and her phone stolen.
When asked by the ACS if the agency has any plan to prevent similar incidents in the future, a spokesperson told Town & Village a number of steps have already been taken, including implementing more programming to encourage youths utilizing the facility to stay on site, and hiring new 40 new staff members, including a new ACS police captain.
“The Children’s Center is a critical resource for dozens of New York City youth in crisis,” said Chanel Caraway, the spokesperson. “As an agency that promotes the safety and well-being of all New York children, we’ve taken multiple concrete steps to ensure the safety of children in our care as well as others in our neighborhood. We’ve enhanced the programming we offer to young people, strengthened safety rules, significantly increased staffing at the Center, expanded staff training, and deepened our relationships with the NYPD and local community members to ensure that everyone is safe and supported.”