PORT MORRIS — A Bronx woman slashed across the face on New Year’s Day believes she was assaulted by the same man arrested for attacking a woman in Chelsea.
And she may have been his second victim that week.
Nicole Pagliaro, a 28-year-old graphic designer, was walking to the Clocktower building near Bruckner Boulevard in Port Morris around 9 p.m. on New Year’s Day after getting dinner with her cousin and his girlfriend in the East Village when she noticed that someone was behind her, she said.
"He stopped me and said, ‘Don’t worry. I’m not going to hurt you’ and then slashed my face,” she said.
The suspect bolted after cutting her, she said.
“[He] didn’t rob me, didn’t go after me, didn’t try to cut me multiple times,” she said. “Just one slash and then ran off.”
Authorities would not confirm that Pagliaro was possibly a victim of Kari Bazemore, 41, who is accused of attacking Amanda Lynn Morris on West 23rd Street Wednesday.
But NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce did say that Bazemore was a suspect in a New Year's Day attack on a young woman near Bruckner Boulevard.
Pagliaro said she went to Lincoln Hospital, where she got 150 stitches, and was struck by how similar the attack on her was to the slashing in Chelsea.
“After reading this story from the Chelsea slashing, the way that he approached her, the way that he held the knife was exactly the same as my story,” she said.
A tipster who had seen news reports of the Chelsea slashing was able to identify the man thanks in part to his distinctive Cleveland Indians warmup jacket, according to Boyce.
Bazemore is a repeat offender with 32 arrests, according to police. He had been arrested two days before Pagliaro was attacked and charged with punching a woman on Sixth Avenue near West 12th Street, prosecutors said.
After the punching incident, the Manhattan District Attorney's office requested he be held on $1,000 bail, but Bazemore was released by Judge Laurie Peterson without bail.
Pagliaro said she is doing well now and was very complimentary of the surgeon who worked on her face at Lincoln Hospital, a doctor she described as “amazing.” But she said she is still somewhat apprehensive in the aftermath of the attack.
“Honestly, I haven’t been out too much,” she said. “I definitely get a little bit nervous.”