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College student in Boston punched to the ground in random daytime attack, police say

Student at Berklee College randomly attacked in Boston
Student at Berklee College randomly attacked in Boston 02:14

BOSTON - A student at Berklee College of Music in Boston was punched to the ground in a random daytime attack last week, according to a police report.

On Friday shortly before 1:30 p.m., the victim was leaving a Berklee building in the area of 169-171 Massachusetts Ave. and walking toward two friends on the sidewalk. She told police that a stranger was in between her and her friends, and she said said to him, "Do I know you?"

"[She] stated that the unknown individual then struck her on the right side of her face with a closed fist punch, causing her to fall and strike the back of her head," the police report says. 

Attacker "randomly punched her in the face"

The victim's friends also told police that the man "randomly punched her in the face." Police say that when officers interviewed the victim, she was "visibly distraught and had a clear swelling and redness on the right side of her face near her eye." She was taken to a hospital for further evaluation.

Police described the suspect as a Black man who is about 6 feet tall and was wearing dark-colored clothing, including a hooded sweatshirt and dark red or black pants. He was also carrying a black "bubble-style" jacket, police said.

Berklee confirmed to WBZ-TV that a student "was the victim of a random assault last Friday." The college said it has shared surveillance footage of the incident with police.

"We should be able to be safe where we're at," said Gloria Cora, who works nearby. 

In September of 2023, four people were assaulted in three incidents near Berklee. Police said they were able to locate a suspect in those attacks. 

"I'm usually up and down Mass Ave. all the time," said Ashley Davis, a student at Northeastern, just down the street. "I can't imagine that happening during the day when there's a bunch of people…It's crazy."

Some Berklee students worry it's part of a national trend. "There've been people who just punch people," said Alena Manske, talking about a string of recent random attacks in New York City.

Last week, the actor Steve Buscemi was randomly punched in the face while walking on a New York City street in an attack that was captured on video

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