A Black woman received an outpouring of support from her Harlem community after being violently attacked by a group of men outside a liquor store when she declined their demand to buy her a bottle of wine. Hundreds gathered at the liquor store over the weekend to show their solidarity and demand justice for the victim whose attackers still haven’t been found.
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ABC7 spoke with the victim, who chose to remain anonymous, shortly after the January 18 attack where she was beaten, kicked, and bit several times on the face.
"I was mauled, this is more than being bitten. I was mauled — that he didn't just bite me and like that was it," she said, "This was a recurring action that he did on my face as if he was trying to literally take my eye. That's what it felt like."
The violence inflicted on this woman simply because she refused to succumb to the pressure these men placed on her incited a cry to protect Black women. Protestors marched from the liquor store through Harlem demanding justice and emphasizing that attacks like this won’t be tolerated.
"My thoughts aren't the normal thoughts anymore,” she said. “It was like they wanted to degrade me, by spitting on me and kicking me. It's just sad, you can't even go about your day, minding your business...a polite decline could lead to something like this.”
A woman says she was brutally attacked outside a Harlem liquor store after she turned down a man's offer to buy her a bottle of wine. @LisaRoznerTV spoke exclusively with the victim. https://t.co/IbiMrZ6WCF— CBS New York (@CBSNewYork) January 21, 2021ADVERTISEMENT
"I'm a mother, I'm a daughter, I'm a friend," the victim said.
Police are launching a city-wide search for the men. Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).
Image courtesy of surveillance footage from the liquor store
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Sylvie Baggett is in constant search of the perfect sour candy, as well as a 2019 graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design where she majored in Writing and double-minored in Creative Writing and Fashion Journalism. Lately, she spends her time taking long walks through the woods accompanied by her feline companion, Bruce. Follow her on Instagram at sylvie_baggett.