Woman Stabbed With Screwdriver by Stranger in Lobby of Luxury NYC Building: Police

What to Know

  • A woman was stabbed repeatedly by a stranger in the lobby of a luxury building in East Harlem housing condos and an asthma center
  • Sources say the victim is a Department of Health employee
  • Police are looking for the suspect, who used a sharp object like a screwdriver to attack the victim

A man allegedly stabbed a Department of Health employee with a screwdriver as she was leaving the asthma center in East Harlem where she works Wednesday night, police say. 

The victim, 58 years old, was leaving the office at 161 East 110th St. at about 5:30 p.m. when a man holding a sharp object attacked her, sources said. The suspect was arrested Thursday after police received an anonymous tip. 

Police said the man used a screwdriver to repeatedly stab the woman in between two sets of lobby doors at the luxury residential building, which houses the asthma center on the ground floor. 

The man allegedly said to the woman, "How are you doing, miss?" before stabbing her, according to police. 

One witness who didn't want to be named told NBC 4 New York that it appeared that the woman was stabbed as part of a robbery.

The woman was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where she was listed in serious condition with injuries to her leg. 

After releasing surveillance video of the suspect, police arrested 31-year-old Ryan Watson on a felony assault charge at his home near First Avenue and East 115th Street in East Harlem Thursday evening.

Sources said Watson has a history of mental illness. 

The building where the woman was attacked houses luxury condos above the office on the ground floor. A resident in one of the apartments, who said he recently moved in a few weeks ago, said the block was very quiet and filled with families.

"It's very safe and nice, and so far no issues," said Nick Profita. "That's really sad." 

"It's crazy that would happen right in the middle of a lobby that's in a building that's actually very nice," said neighbor Paul Rosa. 

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