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Homeless Man Punches Woman at 23rd St. N/R Stop in Random Attack: Police

By Noah Hurowitz | February 16, 2016 2:50pm
 Cleveland Gibbs, 47, attacked a woman at the 23rd Street N and R stop, according to police.
Cleveland Gibbs, 47, attacked a woman at the 23rd Street N and R stop, according to police.
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DNAinfo/Michael Ip

FLATIRON — A homeless man attacked a woman at a Flatiron subway station and followed her onto the street as she called police, according to the NYPD.

The 23-year-old victim was standing on the southbound platform of the 23rd Street N and R stop at 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 10, just after getting off the phone with her mother, when Cleveland Gibbs, 47, blindsided her by punching the woman in the face, seemingly without provocation, police said.

Gibbs then followed the victim through the turnstile as she fled, but beat a retreat when she told him to get away from her, according to a police report.

The victim told police she followed Gibbs from a safe distance and called 911, but as she was giving a dispatcher his description, Gibbs approached her again, according to authorities. Once more she told him to scram and Gibbs walked away, police said.

Police identified Gibbs based on the victim’s description and arrested him nearby about an hour later, according to police.

Prosecutors charged Gibbs with two misdemeanor assault charges and one count of harassment, a violation. A judge ordered him held on $2,500 bail, according to court records.

Gibbs was being held at Manhattan Detention Complex pending a court date on Tuesday, records show.

A lawyer for Gibbs did not return a call for comment.