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Police Investigating Midtown Assault As Bias Crime

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Police are trying to identify a man who they say is suspected of assaulting an elderly woman in Midtown Manhattan.

The case is being investigated as a bias incident.

It happened last week near Ninth Avenue and 43rd Street. The man allegedly shoved the 84-year-old Caucasian woman to the ground from behind while yelling a racial slur.

The victim suffered cuts and bruises and was treated at a hospital.

"She was in a bit of shock," the victim's neighbor and friend, Jan Buttram, told CBS2's Clark Fouraker. "It was just an angry person who took umbrage at the way she looked and sort of pushed her down."

"She's certainly messed up. I mean, her leg is just in terrible shape," she added.

Police canvased the block searching for surveillance video of the incident.

"It's just been the Wild West. You know, thank you Mayor de Blasio. It's been really bad. We have shoplifters coming in four or five times a day. It's very hard to stay in business and function," American Home Hardware store owner Felix Atlasman said. "A couple of years ago, it got a little bit better when we had cops on the beat and they would actually be in the neighborhood. I think that went away. I think we need to bring that back."

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by visiting the Crime Stoppers website or by texting tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

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