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Serial Spitter Targets Passersby In Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A serial spitter was being blamed Tuesday night for more than a dozen incidents in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn – including at least one involving a pre-schooler.

As CBS2's Tracee Carrasco reported, one Brooklyn woman who did not want to be identified said she and her husband were the victims of one bizarre, unprovoked and disgusting attack.

"People are generally respectful, so this is the first time that I really felt targeted," the woman said.

The man and woman were walking through their Prospect Lefferts Gardens neighborhood at the time.

"As we were crossing the street on Flatbush Avenue, we heard somebody – a man clearing his throat to the left," the woman said. "I looked over and I saw this man. His face looked really angry -- and he was spitting."

She said he was spitting right in their faces, and the couple was not the man's only target.

According to a community Facebook page, there have been more than a dozen accounts of spitting attacks in the area in the last two months – including two in which children were targeted. Leslie Ward saw the man spit on a 3-year-old boy as the boy sat on the back of his mother's bike.

"She was like: 'Did you see that guy? He just spat on my kid! He spat on my kid!' She was like: 'Oh my God, you're so disgusting!' and she was in tears," Ward said.

Ward said it seemed there was no mistaking what happened.

"You think maybe in your mind, 'Oh, maybe he meant to spit on the sidewalk and did it accidentally, but felt bad and didn't apologize,' but the way she reacted, it was as if he had just spat right on her kid," she said.

Seth Kaplan, who helps run the private Facebook page, created a map showing where some of the incidents happened. But because spitting on someone is usually only a violation or a misdemeanor, it has been hard for police to do much.

"It's something that really affects people emotionally. They've been spit on," Kaplan said, "and the problem is from a procedural issue, it's not that high of a big deal."

The spitter is described as a tall, slender black man in his 20s or 30s, usually wearing a grey hooded sweat shirt. The 71st Precinct is encouraging people to report these disturbing attacks to them.

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