NYC Subway Pepper Spray Attack May Be Hate Crime, Cops Say - NBC10 Boston
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NYC Subway Pepper Spray Attack May Be Hate Crime, Cops Say

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    Pepper Spray Attacks Probed as Hate Crime

    Multiple people were attacked in Manhattan. Michael George reports.

    (Published Saturday, March 9, 2019)

    Police confirm they are investigating a bizarre Friday afternoon attack, in which a woman sprayed seven people in Manhattan with an unknown substance, as a possible hate crime.

    The female suspect is black, and all of the victims are white. The NYPD's Hate Crime Task Force was investigating. 

    Police said the woman sprayed victims with an "unknown chemical substance" that victims believe to be mace or pepper spray.

    The woman first targeted a subway station in Harlem at 125th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue on Friday around noon. One man was hit in his eye at close range.

    Authorities say she then left the station and sprayed five more people on the street.

    Minutes later, a woman was sprayed in the station at West 96th Street and Broadway.

    "She just walked up to me, literally walked up, maced me and kept walking," victim Joshua Smith told News 4 New York.

    Police responded but were unable to catch up with the attacker, who is still on the loose.

    She appeared to be about 30 years old, 5 feet, 6 inches tall, roughly 200 pounds, the NYPD said. She was wearing a blue top, gray pants, and white sneakers.

    Anyone with information was asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.