MANHATTAN – A peaceful afternoon on a sunny Upper East Side block was thrown into chaos when police say two people were attacked at random by a homeless man who went on a violent rampage, including an elderly woman whose son says she was left traumatized and bruised.
Investigators confirm to Upper East Site it all began just after 12:45 pm on Wednesday, when the suspect grabbed a 38-year-old man by his face and slammed it into a light pole on the street along York Avenue near East 77th Street— hurting the victim’s head, shoulder and back.
Shortly after that first assault, a 72-year-old woman became the homeless man’s next victim, police say.
The victim’s son, who wishes to remain anonymous, told Upper East Site in an interview on Thursday that an unhinged homeless man had run up and grabbed his mother and threw her to the ground as she ate in the outdoor seating area of Le Moulin a Cafe, a French bistro on York Avenue near East 76th Street.
“She didn’t see him at all. He came up from behind. He attacked her from behind,” the victim’s adult son explained.
The victim’s son says the homeless man, who was clearly emotionally disturbed, was trying to escape the other crime scene a block north of the restaurant— where the first victim was attacked— when the suspect came up and assaulted the man’s mother and put her in a tight bear hug, causing significant pain and bruises to her body and face and leaving the senior traumatized by the random attack.
“He basically tried to avoid the cops and so he ran,” the victim’s son told Upper East Site, adding “he was clearly deranged.”
Police said the woman’s glasses were also broken during the assault.
“He was without shoes, I think, and shirtless. Very big guy, two hundred and fifty plus pounds,” the woman’s son said, going on to praise the officers that came to his 72-year-old mother’s aid.
“They protected my mom. They got him off her very quickly and detained him. They did a great job.”
Police tell Upper East Site that a 41-year-old homeless man, London Faggett, is now facing two counts of assault as well as a criminal mischief charge in connection with Wednesday’s assaults.
Faggett is the second homeless man to be arrested and charged with a violent crime on the Upper East Side in less than a week.
Last Friday afternoon, a homeless man with more than thirty prior arrests was subdued by police officers on Lexington Avenue, after allegedly trying to rob a man at knifepoint outside the 92nd Street Y— putting not only the victim in fear for his safety, but also a woman and her 9-year-old daughter who happened to be standing nearby.
52-year-old Gary Harris is charged with attempted robbery in that incident.
“You know, the city is so dangerous,” said the adult son of Wednesday’s elderly victim.
“That just really rocks your confidence and your security. You feel very insecure in life, you know.”