What to Know
- A white woman was smashed in the face by a metal box-wielding stranger on a Tribeca street in an apparent bias attack, cops say
- The 57-year-old woman told police the attacker, who is black, made an anti-white statement before bashing her in the head
- The victim recounted the attack to News 4: "I felt like I was going to pass out... She was laughing that she hurt me"
A woman has been arrested in the metal makeup box face smash attack on a white lawyer on a Manhattan street three weeks ago, an apparent unprovoked attack authorities had been investigating as a possible bias crime.
The woman, 37-year-old Amy Bell, of Brooklyn, was charged Wednesday with assault, aggravated harassment and harassment, police said. Cops declined to say at this time whether Bell, who allegedly referenced the victim's race in the attack, would face upgraded charges as hate crimes.
Bell had been wanted in the May 31 attack on a white civil rights attorney in Tribeca. The 57-year-old attorney was walking on Warren Street shortly before noon that day when she told police a black woman walked up and smashed her in the face with the metal makeup box.
"It's the worst pain you ever felt in your face," the attorney, who did not want to be named, recounted to News 4 New York in an interview earlier this week. "You just don't know what you look like. My eye was bloody, totally shut."
"I felt like I was going to pass out but I tried not to. And I went over to the first person I saw and said, 'Do I have teeth in my mouth?'" she said.
The victim said she noticed her attacker while walking back to work, and the suspect suddenly reached her arm back. The victim thought she was just dancing, but the attacker was winding up to hit her.
"The woman who hit me said, 'White b----,' and was laughing that she hurt me," she said.
"The look on my face was like, 'Did you just hit me in the face?' I looked at her and didn't say a word," she said.
The woman still had bruises on her face, weeks after the attack. An attorney who works on behalf of children, families and immigrants, she has a message for her attacker.
"My dad was a Holocaust survivor. Many, many people were murdered over hate," she said. "It's a time for everyone to come together."
"I really hope you get the help you need, and that you never do this to anybody else."
The victim is also an avid ice skater and had a competition the day after the attack. Despite the pain, she went on to win a gold medal.
It wasn't immediately clear if Bell had an attorney who could comment on the allegations.