A young model has described how she was brutally attacked and robbed in New York, after moving to the city to pursue her dreams in the fashion industry.
Bew Jirajariyawetch, 23, from Thailand, said she is lucky to be alive following the sickening assault at a Manhattan subway station.
The young woman, who said she had dreamed of living in the Big Apple since she was a child, was coming home from a concert when a stranger came up behind her and grabbed her.
Bew was at the 34th Street-Herald Square station at around 4am on November 22 after seeing a performance by Thai-American singer Daboyway.
She was heading back to her home in Queens when the man approached her from behind and put her in a headlock.
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The mugger covered her nose, mouth, and eyes, "to make sure I couldn't make any noise," she told the New York Post.
"He dragged me where nobody could see… Beat me… Took my purse," she said.
"I wish I had a chance to yell."
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Harrowing surveillance footage showed Bew's attacker pulling her back several feet before throwing her to the ground and punching her repeatedly.
While she was down on the ground, the mugger allegedly touched her private parts and ran off with her purse, the New York Police Department (NYPD) said.
The video ends with her sitting up, dazed, and bringing her hand up to her face.
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She said she "doesn't know what would have happened," if no one had found her.
A photo provided by Bew taken shortly after the assault shows her face covered in painful-looking purple bruises with dried blood caked under her nose and near her mouth.
Another picture showed more bruising and blood running down her legs.
She was taken to a nearby health centre and treated for her injuries.
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The NYPD has released surveillance photos of a suspect showing him jumping the ticket turnstile.
No arrests have yet been made, but Bew says her love of the city she had wanted to see since she was a little girl has been shaken.
"When I was young, I always wondered how the city would be," she said.
"At first I admired [it]," she added.
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"Sadly. it changed for me. Now I see the other side.
It comes as crime reportedly soars on New York's public transport, returning to pre-Covid pandemic levels.
Police reported 60 incidents of serious crimes the week before Bew's attack, compared to just 33 in the same time period in 2020 when the city was still in the grips of lockdown.
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