Man arrested after several women punched in the face by a stranger in New York

A man has been charged with assault after a number of women reported being randomly punched in the face in New York City.

Skiboky Stora, 40, was arrested on Wednesday following an “unprovoked” attack on a young woman in Manhattan. The woman, influencer Halley Kate, shared the incident with her 1.2m TikTok followers shortly after.

In a statement released online on Wednesday, the NYPD said: “The NYPD is aware of a viral video circulating on social media depicting a woman who was randomly assaulted in an unprovoked attack.

“The individual has been arrested and charged and is a criminal recidivist with an extensive criminal record.

“Your NYPD detectives were able to identify the man after he was previously arrested for similar attacks, only to be released back onto our streets.

“This incident will be his third arrest in the past six months. Your officers will continue to remain resilient in their efforts to stop violent criminals, ensuring the safety of our communities.”

Skiboky Stora (@skiboky_stora/ Instagram)
Skiboky Stora (@skiboky_stora/ Instagram)

The NYPD later confirmed to The Independent that Mr Stora was the individual who had been arrested and charged.

According to the department, the incident occurred at around 10.20am on Monday when Ms Kate, 23, was walking in the vicinity of West 16th Street and 7th Avenue.

“An unknown individual hit her in the head, the victim fell to the ground and suffered injury to the left side of her face. The victim was treated at a local medical facility pursuant to an ongoing investigation.”

Mr Stora, of Brooklyn, New York, was arrested and charged on Wednesday 27 March.

In her TikTok video, Ms Kate tearfully said of the attack: “You guys, I was literally just walking and a man came up and punched me in the face. Oh my god, it hurts so bad. I can’t even talk. Literally, I fell to the ground and now this giant goose egg is forming.”

She later noted that the man was walking his dog when the incident occurred, and she fell to the ground and “blacked out for a second”. When she got back up, Halley recalled the man was “screaming at me” and she ran away.

Ms Kate later said that after filing a police report she was told by officials that it had “matched” another police report detailing a similar incident.

The attack on Ms Kate and subsequent arrest of Mr Stora comes after reports across New York City from other women who had suffered similar experiences of being randomly attacked.

Several women, including other influencers and comedian Sarah Suzuki Harvard, took to social media to share their stories and urge others to be aware of their surroundings.