A woman was severely beaten in the bathroom of a popular midtown Manhattan bar after rejecting a patron's advances early this morning, law enforcement officials said.
The woman, a 30-year-old pediatric nurse from Connecticut, was hospitalized with a broken eye socket, broken jaw and other injuries.
The attack allegedly occurred around 2 a.m. at Social, a three-story bar and lounge on Eighth Avenue on 48th Street, authorities said.
The woman told police that she had rebuffed attempts by an unidentified man to dance with her on the first floor of the bar. When she went to the women's restroom in the basement, he followed her and burst into a stall.
The man beat the victim until she was unconscious and police had originally feared she might have been sexually assaulted because her pants were pulled off. Police later said it appeared the victim was not sexually assaulted.
There was bloody evidence of the attack left in the bathroom, police said. The victim was discovered by a friend went to look for her after she failed to return to the bar. The friend assumed the victim had simply fallen, and had the bartender go across the street to a firehouse to get EMS help.
Later when the victim regained consciousness, she told staff at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center that she had been attacked. It was only then, at 5:30 a.m., when police were finally called in.
Police were gathering security videotape and interviewing bar employees to try to identify the assailant. They have also taken evidence from the scene for analysis.
Police are searching for the man seen leaving the bar in this video (above-left). He is described as a Hispanic male in his 30s and was wearing blue jeans and a blue plaid button down short sleeve shirt over a long-sleeve gray shirt.
As he leaves the scene of the crime, the man seems to shake his right hand as if he is injured.
So far there have been no arrests. There was no immediate response to a phone message left at the bar.
Midtown regulars were horrified at the news.
"I was in shock because it's a very nice place," said passerby Loren Ellis, who said she occassionally goes to Social and described the bathroom as like any other. "It could happen anywhere. We have to be careful."
"I'm in shock those things are still taking place. It's very sad," said passerby Yaron Nahun.