Man, 44, appears in court accused of battering a 63-year-old businesswoman with a SUITCASE, leaving her face bruised and stolen
- Michael Lee, 44, stood in a quilted jacket at Manhattan Criminal Court, New York
- The suspect allegedly assaulted Esther Guzman, 63, with a suitcase on January 1
- Video shows man swinging luggage at Guzman and punching her several times
- Lee was charged with assault, harassment and criminal possession of a weapon
A 44-year-old man who was charged with assaulting a 63-year-old woman with a suitcase has appeared in court.
Michael Lee stood in a quilted jacket at Manhattan Criminal Court two weeks after Esther Guzman was left with a swollen face and bruised eyes in a vicious attack.
Lee, from Hell’s Kitchen, has been charged with assault, harassment and criminal possession of a weapon.
In surveillance video from the scene near 10th Avenue and 51st Street, the suspect is about to cross paths with the woman when he lunges forward and punches her.
Michael Lee stood in a quilted jacket at Manhattan Criminal Court (pictured) two weeks after Esther Guzman was left with a swollen face and bruised eyes in a vicious attack
Esther Guzman, 63, was assaulted in New York with a suitcase containing a speaker January 1
The local business owner, who has lived in the Hell’s Kitchen area for more than 50 years, was left with a swollen face and bruises
Guzman said the stranger began yelling insults before delivering blows and throwing her to the ground in the Hell’s Kitchen neighorhood at 12.01am on January 1.
The clip shared by police shows the man swing a rolling suitcase containing a speaker at the victim.
‘He was cursing, he was fighting with someone on the corner,’ Guzman told ABC 7. ‘He took the boom box that he had, and hit it.’
He continues to strike the woman while she’s on the ground, as she held on to a small rolling luggage item of her own.
The suspect then nonchalantly walks away but cameras captured the suspect’s image.
‘I was bleeding, I don’t know what to do – good thing I didn’t lose my conscience. I was scared he was going to come back,’ she added.
Then the swelling set in.
‘My eyes went ‘boom’,’ Guzman told NBC 4. ‘I got a big bump here on my eyes, but the time I know I was bleeding, I came home, left my luggage and I took a cab to the emergency room.’
Michael Lee, 44, was arrested Wednesday night on charges of assault, harassment and criminal possession of a weapon, after a two-week hunt
In a surveillance video the man swings luggage at the victim and punches her several times
Guzman returned to the scene of the crime to obtain video from the incident. He is seen walking away after the assault
Local business owner Guzman returned to the scene of the crime herself to obtain video from the incident in a desperate bid to make sure her attacker was removed from the streets.
She said she was afraid to leave her home of more than 50 years.
Crimestoppers also asked the public for help detaining the man.
Meanwhile a local store owner said Lee had visited since the assault and is a regular customer at his business, where Guzman also shops.
‘I had an encounter with him, along where he lives and I told him to never come back here anymore,’ Mohammed Altareb said. ‘He’s come by several times and we called the police but they never arrived on time.’
According to reports, Lee is known for blasting music around the Midtown Manhattan area.
He was arrested in the vicinity at 7.50pm on Wednesday on charges of assault, harassment and criminal possession of a weapon.
Lee was released from custody.
Store owner Mohammed Altareb said: ‘I had an encounter with him, along where he lives and I told him to never come back here anymore’