A man with dozens of prior arrests wounded a 31-year-old tourist with a machete in an apparently unprovoked attack in a midtown Manhattan park Tuesday, authorities and law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation tell NBC 4 New York.
The man sneaked up behind the woman as she was leaving the park around 11:30 a.m. and hit her in the arm with the machete, leaving two deep wounds, law enforcement sources said. Police witnessed the altercation and took the man into custody; they recovered the machete, the sources said.
The woman was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center and is expected to survive, authorities said. She was conscious and alert when she was taken to the hospital.
Police arrested 43-year-old Frederick Young on an assault charge. Young has at least 30 prior arrests, including several for drugs, and was arrested in 2010 for menacing with a machete, law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation tell NBC 4 New York.
Amateur video taken at the scene shows several officers restraining a man on steps at a corner of the park. Another man can be seen holding what appears to be a machete, while several bystanders aid an injured woman with a tourniquet fashioned from a belt.
Some of the hundreds of people in the park at the time of the slashing described a hectic scene.
Kyle Newberry described the aftermath of the slashing as "pandemonium."
"Next thing I knew guy on the ground guns drawn all around him got him pinned to the ground his machete is on the left side," he said.
The park quickly returned to its normal bustle.
It's not the first time the popular midtown park has been the site of violence.
A November 2013 shooting at its ice rink injured two people, including a 14-year-old, and sent skaters stampeding to safety.
Police said the gunman was a 16-year-old who had tried to rob one of the victims of his coat. The suspect, now 18, has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder.