A physical therapist was attacked last week and left with a fractured nose on her way to visit her home bound patient in the south Bronx.
According to an incident report filed with the 40th Precinct, the alleged assault occurred on May 11, at 601 Morris Avenue between the hours of 1:50 p.m. and 2:15 p.m.
The Filipina woman, 29, is a physical therapist who works for Rebekah Rehab Extended Care Center in Castle Hill. Jacqueline Odino, director of patient services at Rebekah, spoke to the Bronx Times about what her employee endured.
Odino, who has been with Rebekah Rehab for four years, said nothing like this has ever happened.
“We need attention brought to this case in order to help protect these workers,” Odino said. “To ensure their work continues. To make sure that they will not be afraid to go to their next assignment, and of course, to make sure the patients who need their services, get their services.
This attack affects both the young woman who was traumatized and the community she serves.
The cause of the attack is unknown, was it because she is of Asian descent? Was the attacker mentally unstable?”
Odino explained that upon arriving at the apartment building the physical therapist was buzzed in, but the attacker walked in behind her. From that moment she sensed something was off.
Once inside, the physical therapist tried to elude the woman.
“She realized the lady was following her and hoped she would go in the opposite direction,” Odino stated.
But when she turned around the alleged attacker was right there and allegedly grabbed her by the hair and punched her three times in the face breaking her nose.
Then hoping to find safety and or help, she fled to the laundry room, where she told a woman someone was attacking her and instead of being a good Samaritan the lady said “take it outside.”
“When she tried to leave the building the attacker went at her again and that’s when she screamed help me,” Odino said.
After that the assailant fled the scene.
Odino stressed that physical therapists are always vulnerable in the field, but now many are afraid to come to work.
The suspect is described as a female, Black, last seen wearing a light blue jacket and blue sneakers. This has not been deemed a bias incident. The investigation is ongoing.