Women being punched in NYC? Multiple TikTokkers recount random assaults

A disturbing new trend on TikTok has users wondering, "what is happening in NYC?" 

Over the last few days, several women have shared stories of being randomly punched while walking in New York City.

The NYPD says they are launching an investigation into whether the incidents are related. 

On Wednesday, a man was arrested in connection to randomly assaulting a young woman who was walking down a New York City street earlier this week, according to police.

The arrest comes after several videos went viral on social media showing women describing being suddenly hit by a stranger on a Manhattan sidewalk in recent weeks, though the NYPD wouldn’t say if the arrest was related to one of those incidents.

The 40-year-old man was arrested in connection with an assault on a 23-year-old woman, believed to be @HalleyKate on TikTok. 

Details for the suspect’s attorney were not immediately available, and his lawyer in two pending cases in Manhattan did not immediately respond to an email message Wednesday.

One report includes a 23-year-old woman being hit in the head on Monday in Chelsea, police sources tell FOX 5 NY. 

In the report, the woman claims she was walking near West 16th and 7th Avenue when an unknown individual hit her in the head. She then fell to the ground, suffering injuries to the left side of her face, and was treated at a nearby facility, according to the report. 

"Is this like an organized viral trend??" one TikTok comment read. 

"This is my third face punch video today," another user wrote. 


Halley shared her story on Tuesday, in a video that now has nearly 40 million views.

"I was literally just walking, and a man came up and punched me in the face. Oh my God, it hurts so bad," she said with an obvious lump on the side of her face. 

Halley, whose bio reads "I talk a lot", typically shares her everyday life living in New York City and has over 1.2 million followers on TikTok. 

"I literally fell to the ground" she said with tears in her eyes. 

The NYPD has confirmed Halley's incident and says they are moving forward with their investigation into a possible pattern.


@Olivia.brand is a smaller Tiktok user who posted a video a week prior, saying that she had been punched in the head by a man while walking in the city. 

"I literally just got punched by some man on the sidewalk. He goes sorry and then punches me in the head," she said in a post from Sunday, Mar. 17.

Olivia has since clarified that the video she posted of her assault was before Halley's and that she was not aware of the disturbing trend when she first shared her story.  

The video that now has nearly 5 million views has numerous comments tagging Halley's story. 

 "Ummm why is this THE SECOND sidewalk punch in nyc video I’ve seen today!?!" one user wrote. 

She says she filed a police report and that the NYPD is using her story as part of an ongoing investigation.  

The NYPD has confirmed Olivia's report that claims she was punched in the head while walking her dog near Kenmare Street and Mulberry Street on Sunday Mar. 17. 

No arrests have been made, and the investigation remains ongoing. 


Mikayla shared her story about the incident on Tuesday afternoon. 

"So I just got punched in the face walking home," she said in a video that now has over 10 million views. 

She said she was walking from class, looking down at her phone when she was hit in the face.

"I don't know if this is like a thing that's going around?" Mikayla said in her video. 

"I just saw Halley’s video, then Olivia’s and now yours… all in a row. This is scary," one user wrote, under the video. 

Mikayla, whose bio reads "parsons fashion design", typically shares videos on clothing and style trends. 

FOX 5 NY confirmed that Mikayla is a Parsons School of Design student and has reached out to the college to see if they received calls from students being attacked.

The college tells FOX 5 NY that so far they have not received any reports about the incident. 

"I'm like actually in shock right now. I'm just like walking home because what else do you do?" Mikayla said on TikTok.

She says she texted her friends when it first happened, and they shared @halley's video with her. 

"I guess if you're in New York right now, and you're walking while looking at your phone, maybe don't do that?" she said. 

Mikayla ended her video saying that she would be "super aware" of her surroundings moving forward, and some users claimed they didn't feel safe. 

It is still unclear whether these women were assaulted by the same person. 

So far, there have been no arrests in any of these incidents and the investigation remains ongoing.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.