Suspect with 40 prior arrests allegedly assaults 4-year-old in Times Square

The suspect has three open misdemeanors for "assaulting strangers" dating back to the summer, including two in the past month, prosecutors said.

Ari Hoffman Seattle WA

A suspect with a long rap sheet and multiple arrests this year alone allegedly randomly punched a four-year-old boy in the head in Times Square.

According to police, just before 3:30 pm Thursday at the corner of 46th Street and Seventh Avenue, Rafaela Rivera and her young son, Angel Rivera, were at the New York City tourist destination when the suspect allegedly approached them and, without warning or provocation, punched the child in the head.

Babacar Mbaye, 34, was arrested for the broad-daylight attack after being tackled by Angel's mother and another woman, according to police.

Security footage obtained by The New York Post shows the two women rushing in front of the TKTS bleachers to tackle the assailant.

Rafaela told NBC: "All of a sudden I hear like somebody got hit in the head with a halfway empty bottle of water and I turned around and [Angel's] screaming and crying, getting up off the floor."

According to police, Mbaye kicked an officer while resisting arrest, and the incident comes two weeks after he was arrested for another assault.

Rafela further told NBC: "Why do they keep letting him out? I mean he hit a 4 year old, what if he ended up, you know, something worse?"

An officer with the NYPD told The Post, "Who needs DA Bragg? The mother took care of justice the old fashioned way," referring to progressive Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg who's accused of being soft on crime.

Mbaye was arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court late Friday night. According to prosecutors, the suspect said while in custody at Bellevue Hospital, "I drank a whole bottle of hand sanitizer. I shouldn't have done this."

Mbaye was charged with felony assault, reckless endangerment and resisting arrest, and according to police and prosecutors, he was on supervised release in connection with other recent random attacks.

Prosecutors said Mbaye has three open misdemeanors for assaulting strangers dating back to the summer, including two in the past month. During one assault, he allegedly "pushed a stranger and punched her twice in the shoulder" and during the other, he allegedly "punched a stranger in the head."

According to prosecutors, Mbaye has a criminal record dating back to 2009, with arrests including for assault, criminal possession of a weapon, DWI, and menacing. He has 16 prior misdemeanor convictions, proseuctors said.


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