A young Irish immigrant is recovering after a brutal assault in the Bronx last weekend.
The Meath native was attacked by a lone male assailant shortly before 4 a.m. in the early hours of Saturday morning on Katonah Avenue in Woodlawn, as she and her friend walked the short distance home from a night out.
The 21-year-old GAA player sustained serious head injuries including a broken nose, skull, teeth and cheekbone as a result of the attack.
Rosie O’Reilly, a neighborhood friend and manager of the GAA ladies Cavan team, received a first-hand account from the victim.
“It’s unbelievable that someone would try and do that much harm to someone else,” O’Reilly told the Irish Voice on Tuesday.
“She had to get 15 stitches between her eyes,” O’Reilly said. “Thank God there was no bleeding to the brain.”
It is understood that the two girls were walking home in the early hours of Saturday morning when the assault took place. According to O’Reilly, the pair noticed a man talking to himself when they passed Country Bank on Katonah Avenue.
“He asked the girls if they had called a cab,” O’Reilly explained, “They said no.”
O’Reilly explained the assailant then ran towards the victim and quickly attacked her with a concrete block. Her friend had been walking a few steps ahead, and was unharmed.
“She is really traumatized,” said O’Reilly, who is helping to organize travel arrangements for the young woman’s family.
Doctors released the victim from the hospital on Sunday evening.
“They wanted to wait until the swelling goes down to do reconstructive surgery.” O’Reilly said. “The girl is just distraught.”
At presstime on Tuesday afternoon, police investigators were not available for comment.
In the wake of the attack, a community spokeswoman in the Bronx has advised residents to be vigilant.
“I would reiterate the message that it is not safe to walk home at night regardless of how close you live to the bar,” Orla Kelleher, executive director of the Aisling Irish Community Center, told the Irish Voice.
“A lack of police presence on Katonah Avenue encourages crime. We would encourage businesses to invest in CCTV for the protection of not only their customers, but their businesses.”