Man accused of punching seven random women in New York City is arrested

A man accused of assaulting random women in New York City was arrested Tuesday, police said.

Daquan Armstead, 31, of East Bronx, was taken into custody on suspicion of hate-motivated assaults on seven women from late March to mid-April in Lower Manhattan, police said.

Authorities allege he punched women, sometimes in the face, on their heads, or on their backs.

When asked about the allegations while being taken out of the New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force office, Armstead responded, “They spit at me.” Police refuted the suspect’s claim that victims had spit on him.

It wasn’t clear Tuesday evening if he has retained legal counsel. New York County Defender Services, which provides defense attorneys for many criminal cases, noted that a public record of his arrest was unavailable.

Armstead was arrested on suspicion of hate crime/assault; suspicion of attempted hate crime; and suspicion of aggravated harassment, according to the NYPD’s Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Public Information.

Police told NBC New York there have been 95 unprovoked assaults in Manhattan so far this year, with 50 of them involving victims who are women.

At least one arrest was made previously in connection with a series of attacks earlier this spring that gained attention after some of the women told their stories on TikTok.

The allegations involving Armstead do not appear to be any of the attacks seen on social media.

The department released a timeline of alleged attacks:

About 8 p.m. March 24, police received a report of a 30-year-old woman who was struck on her face in the Lower East Side, the NYPD said. It was a hard enough hit that it caused dizziness, but she refused medical attention, it said.

The next day, shortly after 10 a.m., officers responded a few blocks to the northwest based on a report that a 36-year-old woman was struck on the back, the NYPD said. She also refused medical treatment.

Shortly after 8 a.m. April 2, officers responded to an incident in which “an unknown individual” struck a 38-year-old woman on the back of the head in Greenwich Village, the NYPD said. She also refused medical attention, it said.

About 12:25 p.m. April 5, officers responded to the Lower East Side, where it was reported someone struck a 25-year-old woman on the right side of her face, the NYPD said. She refused treatment, it said.

A few minutes later and a few blocks away, officers responded to the Lower East Side after it was reported that someone struck a 44-year-old woman on the right side of her face, the department said. She also refused treatment.

About 9:45 a.m. April 8, police responded to a report of a 24-year-old woman struck on the back of her head on the Lower East Side, the NYPD said. She refused medical attention, it said.

Shortly after 10:30 a.m. April 17, police responded to a report of a 27-year-old woman struck on the head by an “unknown individual” in Lower Manhattan, the department said. She refused medical attention, it said.

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