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Man arrested after 4-year-old was punched in the head in Times Square – CBS New York


NEW YORK (CBS New York) – A man has been arrested and charged after punching a four-year-old child in Times Square, police said on Saturday.

Police say it happened just before 3:30 p.m. Thursday on Seventh Avenue near West 46th Street.

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Raphaela Rivera told CBS2’s Thalia Perez the moments after she said her son, Angel, was punched in the back of the head by a stranger with a clenched fist.

“I turn around and the baby is screaming and crying. And I said, ‘What happened?’ My daughter said that guy hit her,” Rivera said.

She says the 4-year-old was knocked to the ground but not seriously injured. His 17-year-old sister, Carmen, came to his aid and then confronted the suspect.

“I was like, you just hit my brother, you think you’re gonna get away with this?” said Carmen.

Carmen says he tried to run away, but she and her mother held him off until the police arrived. At one point, Carmen says the suspect tried to spit on her.

“I grabbed him and fell on my back with him on top of me, and he was kicking,” Raphaela Rivera said.

“You think, like, he has to do it normally. Like, that’s what he does all the time,” Carmen said.

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It was a violent end to what the family said was a fun afternoon. Little Angel had just completed a modeling audition less than an hour before the attack.

Rivera says it was difficult to talk to her son about the assault afterward.

“I tell him, we have to keep our eyes open, grandpa, and he’s like, yeah, I know, mami. We have to look around and help each other,” said Raphaela Rivera.

The family say they thought they had done everything to stay safe in the city, including taking an Uber instead of the subway.

Police say the suspect, Bbacar Mbaye, 34, has 33 previous arrests, including two recent assaults.

“I don’t think he should even be out,” Raphaela Rivera said.

Mbaye was charged with assault, resisting arrest and endangering the welfare of a child. He is due back in court on Wednesday.

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CBS2’s Thalia Perez contributed to this report.

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