Police are searching for a man who entered a Washington Heights fashion boutique on Friday afternoon and slashed an employee’s face without warning, causing serious injuries. The shocking assault was captured on security camera video inside Steph’s Designs on Audubon Avenue around 3:30 p.m., when the man entered the shop, asked the 22-year-old woman behind the register a question, and then slashed her across her nose “with an unknown cutting object,” according to the NYPD.
The assailant fled the store immediately after slashing the woman, who police say “suffered a deep laceration to the face” and was rushed to a nearby hospital in serious condition.
As of Sunday afternoon, no arrests have been made. Police say the suspect is “approximately 25-28 years old, 5’11” – 6′ tall, 180 lbs. and was last seen wearing a black track suit with purple and orange bands on his elbows and blue sneakers.”
On Instagram, the boutique identified the victim as Desteny and said she will need multiple reconstructive surgeries to recover from the attack. An online fundraiser for her has currently raised over $18,000, and a message on the website said Desteny “will be out of work until God knows when with large medical bills. Unfortunately we live in a world where first impressions matter and now my friend’s face is ruined because of a hate crime organized by God knows who.”
On her own Instagram page, Desteny wrote on Saturday, “I nearly lost my life, I am beyond grateful and blessed to be alive!”
🚨WANTED for ASSAULT: Do you know this guy? On 3/26/21 at approx 3:40 PM, inside of 371 Audubon Ave in Manhattan, the suspect slashed the 22-year-old female victim across the nose, causing a deep laceration. Any info? DM @NYPDTips, or anonymously call them at 800-577-TIPS. pic.twitter.com/Cy9FQCH0Xk
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) March 28, 2021
Anyone with information in regard to the identity of this individual is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the CrimeStoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM, or on Twitter @NYPDTips or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.