Man Sucker-Punched While Eating Outside at Italian Restaurant on Columbus Avenue (Updated)

The aftermath of the attack.

A man dining outside at Pappardella on 75th Street and Columbus Avenue on Wednesday night was randomly attacked by a stranger during his meal.

The incident occurred around 8:10 p.m. outside the Italian restaurant, which has been serving customers at a sidewalk cafe. “A 56-year-old male victim was having dinner with his wife when approached by an unidentified individual and punched in the face,” an NYPD spokesperson said. “No provocation. Refused medical attention at the scene.” No arrests were made in the case, a spokesperson said.

Update, 1 p.m.: Capt. Neil Zuber of the 20th precinct tells us the man was arrested. That information may have been delayed if he was sent for a medical/psychiatric evaluation. Zuber said the man listed his address as a homeless shelter in Queens.

2nd update, 6:55 p.m.: Capt. Zuber contacted us to say that the victim declined to press charges and thus the man was not arrested. “While the officers were collecting witness statements and video of the assault, with the perpetrator in handcuffs, the victim told them he refused to press charges. Therefore, he was taken to the hospital as an involuntary EDP, and no charges were filed. Before I left the scene I determined he was under arrest, and it never occurred to me the victim wouldn’t cooperate. I apologize for the confusion.”

The assailant appeared to be “impaired/unstable,” according to a witness who had been bicycling nearby when she heard screams. She said she biked after the assailant until he turned around and walked into police. Another witness said the man was “clearly deranged.”

“It was scary because it came out of nowhere without any argument or contact beforehand. In passing. We couldn’t have avoided it,” wrote Pappardella general manager Marion Maur in response to our questions. “The guest recovered and stayed for dinner. Lots of police.”

“All guests stayed and lots of discussion about our changing neighborhood ensued,” she added.

FOOD, NEWS | 177 comments | permalink
    1. WeaGuy says:

      Sad, I ate there recently and had a nice time.

      Per the citizen app (admittedly a lot of junk on there), someone was attacked w a baseball bat on
      93/bway and shots fired at 91/Amsterdam, both late last night.

      • Ish Kabibble says:

        I have that app and didn’t see either of those….

        • WeaGuy says:

          Just looked again and they’re still there. They appear as white squares because they didn’t happen in the last few hours (newer events are yellow).

          “Report of Person Hit with Baseball Bat” (Broadway & 93rd St – 12 hours ago)

          “Shots Fired”
          (Amsterdam & 91st St – 13 hours ago)

          • Ish Kabibble says:

            That’s very odd, because I get alerts for Hells Kitchen up through Northern Manhattan, and did not get those. Weird….

          • Ish Kabibble says:

            I see – those weren’t in my Notifications section, but I see the dots.


        • WeaGuy says:

          wow – and as we speak, victim reported stabbed at 72nd/Bway train station an hour ago, confirmed by police. This is on the citizen app as of 8 minutes ago.

      • Laura says:

        What is the citizen app?

        • WeaGuy says:

          It’s an app that shows things that have happened in your area (or all over the city if you scroll around on the map). It shows things like traffic accidents, bike accidents, and crimes or incidents that are reported.

          I would stay out of the comment sections for the most part, but its a useful tool to keep yourself informed. Like I said, sometimes you have to wade through some junk, but I find it as a useful resource from time to time.

        • SunDevil42 says:

          Citizen app is to alert you of incidents in your neighborhood. It’s trash. A bunch of ignorant hate filled people spewing garbage.

          • Ish Kabibble says:

            The app is good – it’s the comments from the idiots trolls that is sewage. But you don’t have to partake or read those.

    2. Juan says:

      I wish we could return to a time when “drunk (or high) and disorderly conduct” and “disturbing the peace” were criminal offenses. I am tired of the rights of other people to do what they want are prioritized over my right to live peacefully. It really isn’t that hard.

      And please don’t tell me that this is how it used to be and it gives the city character.

      • Pork Chop says:

        You know, this is why the 2nd Amendment exists: it cements the people’s right to protect themselves.

        Just before the NY lockdown began we’ve moved from the UWS to a much less densely populated area in Florida. Our sheriff’s department is small, and their area of responsibility is quite large. If I were to call 911 right now, I don’t expect to see red & blue lights outside my house for at least 15 minutes, perhaps more. Thankfully, my 2nd Amendment rights are fully available to me here, and I’m confident that I can take care of the problem myself. I’ll call the sheriffs after I’ve achieved a sense of safety for myself and my family.

        NYC has taken away your 2nd Amendment rights on the thesis that you’re a civilized society, but this has never been the case. Your peace, such as it was, was being held together by the police, who put themselves on the firing line every single day in order to keep you and your kids safe. Even the slightest reduction in the vigor with which police enforce the law has led to a spike in crime unseen since the bad old pre-Rudy days. I expect that the 2A crowd will be out in force to remind y’all that this is the social experiment you’ve all been craving for, and its results are quite obvious.

        Either bring back the police, or restore the citizenry’s right to protect themselves. Your city is doomed without at least one of those.

        • Manhattan Girl says:

          I’m glad you are in FL. Please be sure to stay there.

          • Another Manhattan Girl says:

            Oh, Manhattan Girl, you are so right on! What line of reasoning makes these people think that if someone randomly punches you in the face on the street, pulling out a gun and shooting them in the face will make everything okey-dokey? Or maybe he’s thinking that if guns were allowed in NYC, instead of being ‘sucker punched’, that poor fellow would just have been shot and died like a man, like they do in FL? Honestly….

          • Debbie says:


          • UWSdr says:

            I was about to say the same thing and then scrolled down! Well said.

        • Stephinny says:

          I’m glad you don’t live in NYC anymore

        • 939291 says:

          Are you saying that if the person who was punched had been carrying a gun, it would have been a better result if he had shot the man, and all that woudld entail? Is anyone justified in shooting someone who punches them? Do you think that a law allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons in NY would reduce these kinds of incidents?

        • TheDryBandit says:

          Pork Chop, we haven’t taken away the police, they’ve just decided to stop doing their jobs because they’re angry New Yorkers don’t trust them after years of abuse.

        • notafloridaman says:

          Pork Chop, sounds like you belong in Florida if you think carrying a weapon on the streets (or in a restaurant) and shooting anyone that causes you a a non-deadly issue is the way to solve problems. Good riddance! BTW- NYers have a second ammendment right, it is just subject to common-sense gun control.

        • NYerUWSer says:

          Are you really saying that it should be allowed for someone to shoot (and perhaps to kill) a disturbed person by gunshot following a minor physical assault? Don’t you think that would have been out of proportion in this case?

          Apparently, the “sucker punch” didn’t cause very much harm to the restaurant patron because the customer denied medical attention and even finished eating his meal! And it was obvious to all onlookers that the perpetrator was not in his right mind.

          • nemo paradise says:

            Oh, then it’s all okay, I guess. No harm, no foul. But the next time I go out for dinner, I’ll wear a catcher’s mask just in case some passer-by decides to punch me in the face.

        • Yulz says:

          I think you need to read up on why 2nd Amendment exists before lecturing others

        • J. L. Rivers says:

          This sounds like a late-night infomercial for gun rights.

        • mkmuws says:

          False. In no universe is this why the 2nd Amendment exists.

          Actually a perfect example of why is the unlawful attack by the federal government on citizens in Portland.

        • saradesel says:

          Good riddance.

        • marian lamin says:

          Glad you moved to Florida. The 2nd amendment was for a militia during the Revolutionary War., hardly what we need today.

        • Janice says:

          Wow. Really glad you’re no longer in NYC.

        • AlexAuws says:

          the 2nd Amendment was/is right to bear arms as MILITIA not as private citizen and certainly not as vigilante or with military-grade assault weaponry. of COURSE one has a right & responsibility to defend and protect oneself. those protections are defined and enabled through the bill of rights and protected for legal process under the penal code and local jurisdictions. there is zero legislation of liberals “taking away 2nd amendment rights“. keep to the facts.

        • D says:

          Sadly agree ! or The police protects you or you protect yourself ! No third option !

        • Pedestrian says:

          You are delusional. If the dinner had pulled a gun there would have been deaths.

          We need a serious resolution to the violently mentally roaming the street homeless.

        • Real NYer says:

          So you’d shoot a man in the street? Hope you stay in Florida.

        • Debra S says:

          Good riddance, Pork Chop!
          You belong in Floridumb with the rest
          of your gun-loving ilk.

        • Elizabeth says:

          I for one am glad you are in Florida. I don’t want to live in a society where everyone is armed and paranoid.

          • Lady Di says:

            agree! no desire to see NYC become an armed camp with self appointed vigilantes running around and a “stand your ground” mentality – that is not what I call “living”….

        • Mutaman says:

          Even money says you’ve never read the second amendment in your life. just something you heard on fox.

        • Marc says:

          A crowded city is no place to be playing cowboy.

      • Joseph R. Giordano says:

        I agree with you, Juan

      • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

        have any laws been changed in NY State regarding either “Disorderly conduct” and/or “disturbing the peace”? I just did a web search and they both seem to be criminal offenses.

        Admittedly, i am not an expert in NY State Penal codes, so maybe i missed some changes. However, if someone wants to assert there have been recent changes, i would appreciate some documentation, at least a link to the source.

        there are an awful lot of sensationalist claims made on WSR lately that are not true.

      • EdNY says:

        These are different kinds of “rights.” The right to live peacefully is a conceptual, societal right that is not a matter of law. The “rights” of individuals to be drunk, or disorderly, are a matter of law, either local or constitutional. In other words, you can pass a law against disorderly conduct (assuming it passes constitutional muster) and decide to what degree to enforce it, but you can’t pass a law entitling someone to be able to live peacefully. The latter is a matter of measuring the degree to which to want to pass and enforce laws limiting individual behavior of others to the extent that they prevent us from having that peaceful existence.

        • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

          Hi EdNY, I don’t know if you were responding to me, but my query was based on the following assertion by Juan, at the top of this thread. (It seems like you, too, might be responding to Juan.)

          Juan said:

          “I wish we could return to a time when “drunk (or high) and disorderly conduct” and “disturbing the peace” were criminal offenses. I am tired of the rights of other people to do what they want are prioritized over my right to live peacefully.”

          This implies that the NY State Penal Code for Disorderly Conduct and Disturbing the Peace have been changed. I could find no evidence of this, as far as I can see they are both in the Penal Code, thus criminal offenses.

          I am not a criminal code expert, thus my question.

          • EdNY says:

            Yes – I was responsing to Juan. There is a never-ending argument about the “broken windows” philosophy of law enforcement (which I personally support), and that’s all well and good. The problem I have is when people pit legal rights (which deal with individual behavior) against moral or societal rights or norms. As I said, no one has the legal right to live in a peaceful environment. There are laws, however, that, depending upon degree of enforcement, can create that peaceful environment. How peaceful, of course, is what makes the whole thing interesting.

    3. Mark says:

      Why were no arrests made? At the very least, this guy meets the criteria for being a danger to himself or others and should be taken to Bellevue for a psych evaluation. I find it outrageous that someone can assault someone with impunity. Trust me, he’ll do it again. And then everybody will be so sad when he pushes somebody in front of a train.

    4. CrankyPants says:

      “Changing neighborhood,” indeed. Thank you, DeBlasio.

    5. dc says:

      This is unbelievable. Random attacks appear to be increasing, along other instances of reprehensible behavior affecting the tax-paying citizens of the UWS. Hello Mayor DeBlasio! Are you here?

    6. NotImpressed says:

      What a surprise – the responding police officers aren’t wearing masks.

      • AD says:

        THAT’S your concern? A deranged lunatic is walking around our neighborhood sucker punching strangers and you’re upset that the police aren’t wearing masks???

        • Ish Kabibble says:

          Covid CAN kill you, sucker punches don’t.

          • Jayk van Hoensbroek says:

            Sucker punches can kill. That may not be the intent but a punch in the face with a fall or if the victim is on blood thinners or is otherwise frail, the result can be fatal. Whether or not it is moral is another issue, but shooting someone who is punching you in the face MAY be legal self defense. I don’t buy into the argument that if you dislike being physically attacked you don’t belong in this city.

        • Joseph R. Giordano says:


        • Bob says:

          This may shock you, but it is possible to have more than one concern at the same time. Wearing a mask and arresting lunatics are not mutually-exclusive — they should do both.

      • Vince says:

        Snowflakes falling in August.

        • Charly says:

          Geez, science deniers and selfish people in pandemic times. If you think masks are for the weak, then you are a true mental weakling.

    7. Adam says:

      The lawlessness has gotten out of control. There is no simply no fear on the part of the criminals that they will be apprehended and brought to justice, because, they will not be apprehended, and they will not be brought to justice. “Bail reform” is directly to blame, along with an utter lack of morale in the NYPD because of no support from the Mayor. #leavethecity

      • Helen says:

        Dont forget II Duce Cuomo , he signed bail reform into law, amongst other despicable things

        • Charly says:

          Oh, Helen. Where do you get your misinformation? The state legislature enacted bail reform, not the mayor. DeBlasio has gone on record that he thinks it should be dialed back. Just google it and you’ll see for yourself. But I’m guessing you prefer to keep making things up.

    8. Kathryn says:

      “The guest recovered and stayed for dinner.”
      Maybe instead of a discussion about your changing neighborhood, you should have a discussion about why so many cops were dispatched to address someone being punched (likely by someone with mental illness) who is stable enough finish their orecchiette. Or perhaps have a discussion about the criminalization of mental illness and rapid escalation of police response in situations involving those with mental health issues who are not able to receive the help they need.

      I’m sorry, I get that volatile and unexpected incidents are scary and concerning. But I’m getting so disgusted with the NIMBY comments I keep seeing on this site; it mirrors almost exactly the tone of the Nextdoor app and it reveals that, despite the self-proclaimed “progressive” badges of this neighborhood, many longtime residents are first and foremost concerned with keeping their worlds pristine and free of any considerations for those whose lives are more challenging and desperate, and have less good fortune and access to the resources they need.

      After confirming the safety and wellbeing of the victim, it would be great if—for once—instead of the “this neighborhood has gone to the dogs” commentary, people would start asking “How can we provide better support and create productive community mechanisms for those struggling with mental illness? How can we lessen the desperation and lack of resources that often lead people to violent acts?”

      That’s the kind of neighborhood *I* want to live in. Those are the conversation I’m interested in having.

      • BornAndRaisedHere says:

        Then I suggest you move to Portland, Kathryn.

      • Erica says:

        Fully agree! The old “I pat myself on the back because I donate to charities, but don’t want to see it in real life” is rampant on the “liberal” UWS. Please

      • Leon says:

        As the esteemed actor Michael Gerard Tyson said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” What’s your plan when you get punched in the face? Are you going to hug the offender, share a nosh at Zabar’s and offer the name of a mental health counselor?

        Enforcing the law and providing help to those who have issues are not mutually exclusive. I’m not sure why you think they are. If someone breaks the law (punching someone in the face is breaking the law), they should be arrested. End of story. And yes, we should also be devoting resources to helping people.

        • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

          reply to Leon:

          re the arrest: your beef is with the guy who got punched. the assaulter WAS under arrest, but the victim refused to press charges, for whatever reasons.

      • UWSJoe says:

        Not wanting to get punched in the face is “NIMBY”?!?!!

        No wonder anyone reasonably sane is moving out of NYC as fast as possible.

      • Jay says:

        Whether or not the assailant has mental issues or not, is immaterial. An assault (still a crime) occurred, therefore police should be involved.

        Address the issues of mental health all you want. Others would like random acts of violence to cease. Why can’t we have both?

      • Francesca says:

        You ask — “How can we provide better support and create productive community mechanisms for those struggling with mental illness? How can we lessen the desperation and lack of resources that often lead people to violent acts?” Good questions. Do you see the answers as resting with individual citizens and not the government agencies charged with this responsibility and given billions to execute it?

      • Valerie says:

        Thank you, Kathryn. Many people in this country are unemployed, facing eviction, with increasingly bleak prospects of ever getting jobs again. And others are enjoying a pricy pasta dinner outside on a Thursday night on the UWS. I feel crazy just thinking about it, and I have a place to stay, food to eat, and a job.

        That man is not an aberration, he is a *symptom* of the disease of inequality in this country. And symptoms, by nature, hurt. That’s the only way we start treating the disease.

        • citycatsman says:

          To Kathryn and Valerie: I think perhaps you have indeed gone crazy while thinking about economic inequality. You know absolutely nothing about the assailant or the victim. Instead of sneering disregard for the well being of a 56 year old man who was having dinner in an unpretentious neighborhood cafe, how about some compassion for him as a victim of sudden, random violence? The fact that he wasn’t seriously injured is pure chance…a real impact to him and all who witnessed this incident…and all who think about it…is the diminished sense of safety and comfort to simply exist outside our homes.
          An unstable and frightened city will be highly unlikely to care about the less fortunate. Charity in good will and deed will not thrive in a frightened, violence prone community. There must be a sense of balance and proportion which values fairness, compassion and safety for all

          • burt kozloff says:

            You hit the nail on the head. What has been destroyed is the community’s safety and peace of mind. A sense of well-being and relative security is displaced by a fear of attack. While the actual attacks directly involve only a small number of residents, the resulting general fear affects everyone.

            The expansion of misery is not the solution to inequity.

        • Dissident says:

          [Word-count less text quoted for context from comment I was replying-to is well under limit. And even /with/ quoted-text, 114]

          Many people in this country are unemployed, facing eviction, with increasingly bleak prospects of ever getting jobs again. And others are enjoying a pricy pasta dinner

          And many more will face unemployment, eviction and increasingly bleak prospects if we do not provide comfortable and welcoming opportunities for those who can afford to enjoy a “pricy pasta dinner” to continue to do so. Chastising and making feel guilty those who inject the life-blood of money into the economy may make one feel morally superior and assuage one’s own feelings of guilt, but does nothing to help society. Total equality of outcome is a Utopian fantasy that attempting to achieve ultimately results in only more misery.

      • adam smith says:

        Unless it were you. Don’t think you’d be so cavalier about the consequences of crime at that point.
        And what if it had been more than a glancing blow? Or only matters if the victim was seriously hurt? Since when did crime get politicized.
        Pathetic mentality

      • Geez says:

        Good lord! I don’t even know where to begin with this rant.

      • HH says:

        Getting mental health support for people is an important priority, but no-one should be allowed to physically harm someone else unprovoked and there can be 0 tolerance for dangerous people. That doesn’t mean they should be imprisoned, but they cannot be allowed to pose risk to others. Violence, unless stopped, begets violence.

      • davidaron60 says:

        All good points. I think it’s about time we start our block associations up again. A few already exist in our neighborhoods. That would be a good start in getting this conversation going.

        • World Peacenik says:

          Had a GREAT block association about 4 decades ago. Evolved into Black Parties and the 1st UWS mixed gender volleyball in RSD.

          It appears that things are reversing: 1st: establish a block association. 2nd block watch

      • C says:

        When you can’t have dinner without worrying about a mentally ill person punching you, then it is a problem for the neighborhood. And why so many are leaving it.

        • Ish Kabibble says:

          Who are these many people that are leaving? Aside from those that left temporarily for COVID reasons, I’m not seeing this mass exodus that you and others are touting.

          • UWSHebrew says:

            Take a walk up and down Central Park West, see those trucks on CPW and when you look up at blocks towards Columbus Ave? Those are people MOVING OUT. 300,000 have left in the last few months, with more every day. Moving companies from Manhattan to elsewhere are doing the most business in their history as a company.

          • Leaving? says:

            I can only speak from personal experience.

            I live in a building with 20 floors and 7 apartments per floor. Pre covid we were at about 85% capacity while now we’re at about 40%. Of my 10 or so friends who had families, 7 left the city and only 1 plans on returning.

            You can say people are not leaving until your face turns blue but I’m my experience, and the experiences of many others, say differently

          • UWSHebrew says:

            Do you even live on the Upper West Side? It sounds like you don’t, or you don’t leave your home. Everyone who lives here, like I do, have seen moving trucks every day, on almost every block, for the last few months. In the last two weeks, the amount of trucks I’ve seen has nearly doubled.

      • Merrill says:

        Agree with you, Kathryn.

        Compassion and seeking to understand should be the baseline, not suspicion and belligerent prejudice.

      • Bill Raudenbush says:

        Maybe the time and place for examining the life story of someone less fortunate and taking their side isn’t right after they violently and randomly attacked and traumatized a stranger, but you do you.

      • Madeline R says:

        Thank you for this. We have a systemic racism problem in this country; we also have systemic neglect of those who struggle with mental illness and addiction (often an outgrowth of racism and poverty). All citizens of NYC and this country should be pressing our legislators to care for these people in settings where they don’t harm themselves or others.

        • Claire says:

          Obviously you don’t live in this neighborhood or even in NYC. If you did, you would know that millions of our tax dollars are wasted on Mayor De Blasio’s wife’s pet project helping (not helping) the city’s mentally ill. Funny how mental illness has become so much more prevalent on the streets and in our subways – crime, grime and the skunk stench of marijuana has increased since De Blasio became mayor. He used to brag that crime decreased, but it’s only because he keeps a different set of books and decriminalized so many acts. I lived in Battery Park city in the early 90s and used to only come uptown for ballet class at Steps. It felt safe here, especially after Giuliani and Bloomberg. The city is going to pot now. Friends – veteran New Yorkers – are moving to LA and Texas. Now I live in the UWS and am scared to go outside for a walk after the sun goes down. I’m thinking of moving to Hawaii.

        • John says:

          Systemic racism is a Democratic talking point to divide the country. I grew up in the projects and now live in an apartment over looking CPW. I did not assault people because I lived in poverty. I worked hard and struggled to make something of myself. Anyone white should not even be Talking about systemic racism

      • Vince says:

        This is no longer the democratic party of the JFK era. We are now engrossed with an extreme left agenda and it’s supporters have lost touch with reality. Bottom line is we need another Giuliani to systematically bring our city back. Many of you voted for deblasio again and again…and expect different results…and this is insanity. Moving out of the city will not help you, because where ever you go, there you are…remember that.

      • Janice says:

        Couldn’t agree more, Kathryn.

        Also, as a live-long NYer, I suspect many of the alt-right commenters on this site are trolls.

        • Leon says:

          Believe it or not, most of us “alt-right” people are actually moderate Democrats who will also be voting for Biden (I hope you are voting for Biden). Wanting enforcement of basic quality of life laws doesn’t make you alt-right. And we are not saying those who need help shouldn’t be helped – I am all for supportive services. But if you hit someone in the face, there are penalties for that behavior.

          • UWSHebrew says:

            If you vote for Biden you are nowhere near alt-right/right, as you are not voting for Biden, but his VP (Rice or Harris). #TRUMP2020

        • Dissident says:

          Janice wrote,

          I suspect many of the alt-right commenters on this site are trolls.

          What alt-right commenters?

      • Judi says:

        I’m a leftist. I want to live in a neighborhood where I won’t get chased with my dog, where my 12 year old son can go back to walking to the basketball court on his own, and where my street isn’t taken over by a squatter who abuses women verbally. These ideas are not mutually exclusive. Based on your comment about a restaurant that is hardly some chi chi Italian joint, I’m going to venture a guess that you haven’t lived her long.

      • She said what? says:

        To Kathryn- the only person that I see in this scenario that needs immediate mental health counseling is you. To think that it is perfectly acceptable to put up with being punched in the head unprovoked is nothing short of perverse & warped thinking at its finest. You demonstrate no empathy nor sympathy for the poor victim in this case. There is something seriously wrong with your values, or lack there of.

    9. Denise says:

      So, wait a minute, according to this story, “No arrests were made in the case.”
      But yet, a cyclist said that “she biked after the assailant until he turned around and walked into police.”
      How is it that the assailant wasn’t arrested if he walked into police?
      There’s been an overall uptick in violently disturbed individuals on the streets of the UWS this summer. What will it take for arrests to be made?

      • Izzy says:

        Unfortunately it’s likely going to take something horrific (and avoidable) to happen for this to be addressed or at least garner more attention.

      • SNY says:

        Lots of homeless people spotted sleeping on benches along Broadway Malls. Verdi Square is starting to get that old 1970’s shabbiness during some evenings. And with hotels starting to convert into Homeless Shelters (Eg: The Lucerne on W. 79 & Amsterdam Ave.) …what will the Upper West Side be like if tens of thousands of its residents who fled the City decide not to return?

    10. Poppy says:

      We were there. The man was pacing up and down Columbus bt 75th and 76th. The original altercation took place in front of Da Capo, with him going after multiple people, including chasing a woman and her dog. I called the cops–as did multiple people–and it took them more than 15 minutes to arrive (with two cars, so not tons of cops, considering how many calls were placed). He was definitely handcuffed. Scary–and I hope the man receives treatment for his mental health issues.

    11. boopsie says:

      Kathryn, I’m sorry…but if someone who is severely mentally ill randomly and violently attacks someone in the street for no reason, my sympathy is for the victim of random violence and not the perpetrator, whether they are mentally ill or not. What if this person attacked that man with a knife or broken beer bottle? What a woman had been raped by a mentally ill person? Would still feel sympathy if either happened to someone you cared about? As to “keeping our worlds pristine” well, why should’t one want to feel safe in their own neighborhoods?

    12. Glen says:

      Last Friday I had to pay a homeless person $5 to leave us alone while we ate outside at a restaurant on Amsterdam Ave. I am not naming it, because it is not the restaurant’s fault and its staff were too busy running food and drink orders from inside out in to the street.

      • Jay says:

        Paying people is the last thing you want to do in this situation. It only encourages people to do that more.

        Give your $5 to one of the many non-profits that try to help homeless folks get back on their feet.

      • World Peacenik says:

        Paying extortion only encourages it.

        But hey, it’s every person for her/himself, so we got what we got.

    13. Sarah says:

      This article is missing a lot of information. I was eating across the street at ASSET when this all happened. It all started across the street. The man was first heard yelling closer to De Campo. Pushed a young women and her dog. Then yelling began. He started spitting at a bunch of people near De Campo. He kept leaving and coming back. And one point someone got hit with a chair. Then he went across the street to the Italian restaurant. The incident just begin at the Italian restaurant.

      • Tom says:

        I can vouch for that. He’d been beating up and getting beaten up by people and raging around the area for a solid ten minutes. Clearly mentally ill and semi-uncomprehending. The police took a long time to show up.

    14. JulieUWS says:

      Somebody who is going around randomly assaulting people, regardless of the severity of injuries inflicted or not inflicted, is not fit to be living in the community in general. This was not a quarrel that erupted and ended in an assault, but an unprovoked attack. I hope the individual was brought to the ER to be placed under observation or evaluated for hospitalization. They may have a treatment team that needs to be notified. There are mechanisms in place to treat individuals like this and support them in living successfully in the community. This is a failure of the system.

    15. dataguy says:

      Intoxicated black man about 6’2” with dreads wearing no shirt was randomly attacking passing pedestrians and moving cars on the corner of 70th and West End yesterday, Tuesday, August 5th at 4:30pm.

      He was yelling incoherently, hitting passing cars with his open hand, and attempting to strike multiple passerbys and did strike a glancing blow to a white male about 60 years old.

      This occurred about 300 feet from P.S. 199 on a corner where hundreds of elementary kids would be crossing throughout the day during the school year.

      I’ve lived in this location for 7 years and a total of 15 in the UWS. I’ve walked my kids to P.S. 199 for 5 years. I’ve never witnessed anything like this until yesterday.

      Two data points don’t make a trend, but their existence in the absence of prior observations does raise questions.

    16. GG says:

      Tell Governor Cuomo this is why rich people are not returning to the City from their vacation homes. One of the reasons.

    17. Robert says:

      Its a backwards world, people get arrested immediately if they deface the BLM mural on 5th avenue, But here we have an entire neighborhood being defaced in broad daylight every day and nothing is getting done. The community needs to organize and not be placated by meaningless statements from worthless politicians.

    18. BJ says:

      Why was there no arrest if the assailant “walked into police?” That seems to be an integral fact in this story and yet it is not addressed.

    19. Alma says:

      This happened to my 3yr old granddaughter while eating
      with her parents and myself in San Francisco in January. She was unprovoked harassed by a homeless person who came into the restaurant and than also threw water ( off the table ) into another child’s face . The only difference here is that thank god in NYC we are talking about it and the police came. In San Francisco everyone acted as if it’s normal and barely received and apology from restaurant .

    20. Wicki says:

      I walked by right after it happened. The man he hit was bleeding from the back of the head. He was violently attacking people on the sidewalk and kicking dogs, as others describe. He was held in the back of a police van, so maybe was in fact arrested or hospitalized. As for the “NIMBY” issue: A few weeks ago I was outside Black Press, and a homeless white guy with light-colored dreads threatened an elderly man with violence if he didn’t give him $5. I’ve seen this guy hanging out on Amsterdam, so probably the same person the other posted encountered. As for mental illness, a lot of these people are addicts / alcoholics, not mentally ill. I know the struggles personally–and the recovery rate from drug addiction/ alcoholism is very low under the best of circumstances. If you’re expecting “treatment” to help someone who even with the best resources can be violent, you’re living in a fairyland. And as a female, I won’t apologize for not wanting to be afraid of rape or assault when I walk home at night, or wanting to enjoy a moment on a bench without being harassed. I have compassion and have helped personally a number of elderly and female homeless in the neighborhood. I’ve bought cold medication and tea and food for an elderly homeless woman; I’ve bought blankets and food for a female who clearly had dementia and called an ambulance. I enjoy speaking with and trying to help people who have fallen on hard times, because I’ve been there (and may be again). But there’s a big difference between the homeless–and violent offenders who happen to be homeless. There should not be so many men’s shelters in the neighborhood, especially with drug addicts and sex offenders. Not everyone responds to treatment, and they should be in a less populated neighborhood where they won’t be affecting the quality of life. And yes–I have a right to my quality of life. Someone’s violent tendencies do not take precedence over my right to walk without fear of assault or harassment. And I am a Democrat, and support BLM. I also am glad I saw the cops there last night. You really can hold both viewpoints.

      • WeaGuy says:

        I’m sorry, that is way too reasonable. I’m going to have to ask you to leave. That was refreshing to read. Thank you for sharing your view.

      • Ari says:

        I agree with most of what you say Wicki, however, addiction and substance abuse are mental illnesses. And regardless of the efficacy of the American medical system’s treatments of addiction, better they receive treatment than be left on the streets.

    21. Jean Siegel says:

      NYC has gone to the dogs.

    22. Dave says:

      Assault, they have the guy, but no arrests. The victim needed to ask for an arrest. Later, charges can be dropped, but get the perp off the street.

    23. Delores Del Río says:

      The law says you can’t institutionalize someone unless there is evidence they are a danger to themself or others. Clearly someone so deranged they wander the streets punching random strangers is a danger to others.

    24. UWSer says:

      A similar incident happened in front of Pappardella last Wednesday (7/29) too. It seemed a man had stolen something and was being chased down the block by a fellow UWSer trying to get his possessions back.

    25. melissa says:

      This is exactly why change is needed. How can we support local businesses when our neighborhood isnt safe and there are deranged individuals walking around.

      • DNENYC says:

        Exactly. We can’t have outdoor dining if we are in fear of being assaulted. We are TRYING to support the local businesses, but it will fail if there is no law & order. And just because you are eating at a UWS restaurant doesn’t mean you are a MILLIONAIRE. Maybe I shouldn’t support my local restaurant but buy some weed instead. I can get it right on my corner.

    26. Alan Oppenheim says:

      This may have been the same individual that my wife and I saw at 76th and Columbus. We were on the opposite side of the street. He was shouting obscenities and then pursued a woman walking her dog. She ran and he gave chase. Others on that side tried to help and there were punches thrown and a chair from a restaurant used as a weapon. We called 911 and were given a runaround. What’s with the police? We saw no response. The man was then headed south on Columbus. He really needed to be stopped, and that the police did not respond quickly may have resulted in further injuries.

    27. Sue says:

      Just a question – was the assailant part of the group
      of men newly housed in our local hotels?

      • Danielle Remp says:

        Captain Neil Zuber “said the man listed his address as a homeless shelter in Queens.”

    28. JD says:

      He was actually placed in handcuffs, by police and was sent to the hospital via ambulance.

    29. Dorian says:

      Perhaps unrelated. Perhaps not. About 500 homeless drug addicted and/or mentally ill men relocated to 3 hotels between West 77th and 86th (predominantly 283 at the Lucerne 79th and Amsterdam) on July 27th. I’ve already noticed myriad problems. Just saying, 500 men with difficulties in such a concentrated area of a residential neighborhood might be a tad, well, words fail me. 500.

    30. Madeline R says:

      We have a systemic racism problem in this country; we also have systemic neglect of those who struggle with mental illness and addiction (often an outgrowth of racism and poverty). All citizens of NYC and this country should be pressing our legislators to provide funding to care for these people in settings where they don’t harm themselves or others.

      • D says:

        we pay in NYC 50% tax and have the highest property tax in the world. Other states with much less taxes has much less of this problems , so maybe the issue is who is mayor and governor ?? !!

      • Bill T says:

        Didnt Deblasio fund a billion to hiscdear wife for that worthless Thrive organization?? How much more should be wasted??

      • World Peacenik says:

        1960s deinstitutionalizations to save money were not well managed for decades.

      • Leon says:

        What does racism have to do with this? Yes, racism is a major problem, but it has nothing to do with this situation. Unless the criminal was white and hit a black restaurant patron solely because of his race. Which could be the case, but I don’t think that is what you are getting at and there is nothing to lead us to believe that.

        Seems like you are pulling a Trump and distracting us from the real issue at hand.

    31. Rob G. says:

      Nobody to blame but those who keep voting for all the “progressives” that work so hard to to destroy this once-great city.

    32. Lisa says:

      The man got punched in the face because in the last 2 weeks they have moved over 700 homeless ppl into the hotels within 2 blocks of there. I got harassed the other day for no reason. That is not helping Covid packing ppl in hotels when they are congregating all over the streets..especially 79th street.Paramedics in NYC can’t get hotel rooms after doing 16 hour shifts and driving hours to work ! BTW..I support helping homeless families but these are all men living together and the majority have mental illness and drug problems. They are NOT families or ppl affected by losing their homes from Covid.

    33. Craig Heard says:

      Being a true West Sider he apologized to his assailant for the presence of the police, gave him five dollars and invited him to dinner.

    34. Helen Reisler says:

      Did you notice that the police were called? So, do you believe in “ Law and Order,” after all? Mayor DeBlasio’s wife was given money to handle the situation with the homeless and mentally challenged but it only got worse and the people who came to help were the police.

    35. jimbo says:

      I will be 70 yrs old soon.I grew up on 67th and Amsterdam Ave.That was the old NYC.
      This incident would never haver happened back then.Just by chance if it did the attacker would have never made it out of the area.The neighborhood guys would have “taken care of bussiness”.

    36. jimbo says:

      Show the cops some love.You may see more of them.
      Just Sayin………………………….


      • Abdul Sayeed says:

        If I have to “show more love” to the police to get them to their jobs, they should not think of themselves as a “professional force.”
        It’s a difficult, often impossible job, and they have been criticized, both fairly and unfairly. Still, I wish I had the kind of job that would let me sulk for a few months, build a barricade around my desk, as on West 82nd, and reduce my effort and my output.
        Time for many on the force to snap out of it and step up.

    37. NoLongerLiberalYallBlewItForMe says:

      We have spent billions to deal with the homeless under DeBlasio so to say that we as tax payers don’t care or it’s NIMBY being upset at random attacks is misguided, misinformed and this is why we have the NYC that we have today. Why didn’t we have these problems under Giuliani and Bloomberg? And why do we now that we are paying literally billions for the support that Kathryn espouses. I wanted to help the homeless but I’d this is what my tax payer dollars buy them me and the homeless population then count me out.

    38. Merrill says:

      Can’t wait for all those who fled during the pandemic to their second home to come back and save the rest of us still here in the city.

    39. Bill Romanoff says:

      Welcome to the new UWS. You all got what you voted for and support. It will not change until hopefully we get Ray Kelly as mayor.

    40. amy stone says:

      Do we know if the homeless men moved into three UWS hotels have case workers if they have behavioral problems including former drug users in danger of relapsing?

    41. Jason S. says:

      People die all the time after being sucker punched. A punch to the head can do permanent damage, and often can knock the person out, leading them to smash their heads on the sidewalk. Would love to see all the people here minimizing the effect of a sucker punch, saying it’s no big deal, to volunteer to have a thug take a full swing at their head when they don’t expect it. I bet they’d have a different opinion then.

    42. Sweats70 says:

      Wow. Reading all this makes me miss/not-miss living on the UWS. I grew up on 99th between Broadway and Amsterdam.
      I left NYC to escape the street violence back in 1966. Now it’s deja vu all over again.
      Now live in Worcester, MA. Not heaven, but not the hell that the UWS is.

    43. UpperWest says:

      Here’s a story: look at the history of the assailant and note all the times our 1.25bn Thrive program made helpful interventions to help him and protect the public.

    44. Andy says:

      Whilst the homeless issues and the number of people with significant mental health issues has undoubtably got way way worse on the UWS over recent months this is a city wide epidemic brought on but the massive failings of the Democratic ‘leaders’ (I say that in the loosest sense of the word). Cuomo bit especially that complete clown DeBlasio are destroying this city day by day. It is nigh on impossible to sit and have dinner on the sidewalk without people begging, abusing and in this instance assaulting people. It is an absolute disgrace but their policies and failings to assist those needing help have led to this lawlessness. They are a disgrace and should be thoroughly ashamed.

    45. Uwside says:

      This and an unprovoked stabbing at the nearby subway station today by another deranged vagrant.

      This will keep happening until either new leadership is elected. We had none of these problems before our neighborhood became an unsupervised dumping ground for the city’s problems.

    46. Lisa says:

      If we don’t want to have homeless sprawled on our sidewalks, leaving their garbage all over, smoking pot with their dogs etc. etc. there is a quick and easy solution: STOP GIVING BEGGARS MONEY. Know why you don’t see panhandlers in bad neighborhoods? Because people there have their number.

      • Claire says:

        Lisa, you are exactly right. I told my husband the same thing – I refuse to hand out money to homeless in our neighborhood otherwise they’ll think the UWS is a juicy generous area. Today was the first day in 2 weeks that we decided not to go for a walk after work. Over the last week we noticed so many more homeless in Amsterdam and Broadway lurking on the street corners in twos, trying to approach us to sell illicit substances and handing something to each other. Another guy waked by us yelling angrily at everyone and then punched a boarded up window. It was nerve-wracking. I think the victim who was sucker-punched at Parapadella restaurant should have pressed charges and allowed the attacker to be arrested. If the attacker comes back to the UWS and punches someone else’s mom, dad or grandparent on the street, they might hit their head on concrete or asphalt and not be so lucky to get up with minor injury. People have died from being sucker-punched and falling on the street..

    47. JudgeKrater says:

      Why are comments permitted on this story while they appear to have been disabled for “Woman Stabbed at Subway Station; Assailant at Large?”

    48. raff says:

      hope the dinners were comped!

      • UWSHebrew says:

        why should they be? not the fault of the restaurant.

        • Dissident says:

          raff: “Hope the dinners were comped!”
          UWSHebrew: “why should they be? not the fault of the restaurant.”

          Perhaps the politicians responsible for the policies that have resulted in this breakdown in quality-of-life and civilization we are witnessing should be made to compensate their constituents, the ones who pay their salaries. Pappardella incident is but one of countless travesties, many reported in WSR comments– one of which advertises new Twitter #savetheuws. Find there shocking accounts and photos documenting the abject squalor and degeneracy (including men, on the streets in broad daylight, brazenly indulging in very public, wantonly lewd behavior.)

    49. Daniel A says:

      These events are deeply troubling and we should express our sympathy for the victims and concern for our safety, but the vitriol, hysteria and fearmongering expressed by some will only encourage more rational people to flee our beloved community.

      Violence and abuse should not be tolerated by anyone, from anyone and that includes wanton destruction of the environment, poisoning our communities with toxins, financial abuse from greedy individuals and institutions, violence by “authorities” and violence by individuals. We as a society must identify and call out all forms of violence and abuse. We must identify the root causes and take collective action to end it. it’s insanity to think some forms of violence and abuse are tolerable and some are not.

      Decades ago, public institutions that treated mentally ill people were privatized or shut down, forcing sick people onto the streets. While funding for public services was slashed to the bone, budgets for police and prisons skyrocketed. Police officers who are not mental health professionals are now expected to deal with all of the problems caused by austerity, injustice, brutality and economic exploitation, in addition to theft and violence. While cities across the country slash budgets for education and parks, police budgets continue to grow by the billions (

      We must immediately reinvest our scarce resources in public services that serve the needs of the community to ensure the health and well-being of every New Yorker. Only public services are accountable to the people, giving everyone a voice in how they are managed.

      • Parker Smith says:

        Daniel, what you are advocating is the San Francisco plan. They spend a billion dollars a year on social services and the problems just get worse and worser.

        Maybe it’s the wrong idea.

    50. Marci says:

      I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we’re seeing an increase in problems since the hotels in the neighborhood are being used to house questional populations. I’ve been verbally assaulted, chased to give money, watched people do all their bathroom things right in the middle of the street. And it seems that no one really cares about the residents/taxpayers. They only seem to care for the mentally ill or drug abusers.

    51. JJ says:

      Democrat here who has lived on the Upper West Side since 2002. I am extremely concerned about what is happening. I have a child and work in the public schools. I wish that we could be concerned for our children’s quality of life and safety without being called right wing trolls . Again, thanks to West Side Rag for publishing what is really going on.

    52. Leon says:

      Clearly the victim was not hurt by the punch as he chose not to press charges. The only way to prevent these types of events is to punish them to the full extent of the law.

      There is a difference between those who make us feel uncomfortable and those who literally hurt us. Those who hurt us are clearly violating the law. I don’t know why the victim didn’t do his civic duty. I’m guessing part of it is that the law makes it very onorous for him to follow through.

    53. Cathy Carron says:

      My heart breaks to witness the UWS become a ‘dangerous dump’ again. We arrived in 1987 just as NYC was coming out of a bad spell and I fear things on the UWS will only get worse – now with 300 plus drug addicts within 3 blocks – the pandemic – loss of storefronts due to the internet & high rents…time to move

      • goneASAP says:

        My time in NYC overlaps with yours exactly. Your comment is spot-on. “Law and order” are now considered offensive words. Ugh.

    54. Will says:

      On the corner in front of the Lucerne, the area’s new residents are on the top of people’s minds as they walk by. Barbara Rockmore, a 69-year-old who managed a medical practice before she lost her job during the COVID-19 pandemic, lives across the street.

      “They’re more than homeless, they’re menaces to society,” she said, adding someone tried to smash the glass door to her building over the weekend. “This has nothing to do with the color of these people.”

      She said she participated in recent marches against police brutality and thought, “Maybe protesting like we did for George Floyd might be a good idea,” then changed her mind.

      “I’m looking and seeing it’s mostly white people,” she said. “That won’t look good for a protest.”

      -You all realize how incredibly racist you sound on this website don’t you? There are already protests mobilizing to combat the xenophobia and protect the new residents of the Lucerne.

      • HelenD says:

        You sound like you’re ready to incite trouble, not protect people.

        Btw, a HUGE thank you to everyone who posted info about the Citizen App! It’s been a very informative and eye opening day. 🙂

    55. Act Now says:

      One thing is to be a tough new Yorker another is to end up living in a neighborhood you didn’t pick for your family, where the schools almost equal the number of homeless shelters, and where you can go out to dinner without fear of getting attacked or hurt. It is hard to imagine in the time of covid after all that we have been through to have to move, to uproot yourself and your children because your next door building or the building across the street from children’s school is now a rehab and a homeless shelter, and because you afraid to go out. People who live with their families who have alcohol and drug dependencies, and or mental health issues are accountable to their families, their friends, their employers, their coworkers, their healthcare providers and yes, their neighbors. People with the same problems being bused in to live in hotels in neighborhoods they are not familiar with are accountable only to the people hired to manage their stay. My hope for those that find themselves in this most unfortunate situation without a home and suffering from addiction and mental health problems is that in addition to being afforded the opportunity to stay in hotels, they are afforded the resources to reconnect with their families, relatives and friends, these people might be the best equipped people to help them.

    56. k. l. says:

      “sucker punched”???? what a very odd choice of words to describe an assault by a clearly disturbed person on an unknown citizen who w minding his own business….. The phrase suggest the victim was “at fault” .

      Hint: Think before writing!

      • WSR says:

        Sucker punch:
        to punch (a person) suddenly without warning and often without apparent provocation.
        “Joe sucker-punched him and knocked him out”

    57. GoneASAP says:

      Lincoln Center area is now chaos. My kids were assaulted at a public park by a pack of “youths” the other day. Horrific behavior is commonplace at ANY of the public parks now. We’re outta here. Moving out of NYC after 30 years. The racial narrative that has taken root could not be more incongruous with the facts on the ground. For all of you self-righteous types on here who think it’s morally superior to turn reality on its head, I hope you own real estate here. Best guess is that your 10 year return from here will be minus 20-40%.

    58. Vincent Mcgowan says:

      Our west side elected officials have failed to protect us.
      Time for them to leave office.

    59. UWS25 says:

      Was curious why the muggings last week are no where in the news. I personally witnessed one of the muggings just from few feet away and ran away and called 911.

      It happened on the stairs in Morningside Park right behind St. John’s on Thursday broad daylight midday. Victims I saw were a man and woman and I saw what looked to be a knife put to the guy’s throat and he handed him his phone. I ran away at that point and called 911.

      I noticed the perpetrator on the stairs bc he looked off, dark clothes, long pants, long-sleeved sweatshirt in sunny 85 degree weather. I heard him ask a woman with 2 dogs who passed him up the stairs how old she was and she kept walking. He said something else but, well, she had 2 dogs. No wonder he let her pass. Then the couple came up the stairs and he mugged them. Broad daylight around 2pm.

      I raced to the lower tier of the park and by the time I got down there (while talking to 911) and then 2 cops in a car below, I saw cops had apprehended him in handcuffs. He had a woman’s purse on his shoulder as well. Apparently he committed a robbery and 3 grand larcenies that day.

      I’ve lived on the UWS for 25 years and it’s pretty disconcerting the amount of crime that has been occurring.

    60. Alex says:

      the new normal on upper west. the answer according to diblasio is just to house more homeless junkies in local hotels