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Police: Worker At Trendy Midtown Restaurant Choked, Punched In Violent Robbery

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Police are looking for a violent criminal who assaulted and robbed an employee inside a chic Manhattan eatery Friday afternoon.

According to authorities, the suspect entered Quality Meats on West 58th Street around 12:30 p.m. through a side entrance into the trendy restaurant's basement.

Once inside, the suspect was caught on surveillance cameras punching a 35-year-old female employee in the face and putting her in a chokehold.

Robbery suspect chokes employee at Quality Meats in Midtown on Nov. 9. (Credit: NYPD)

"I worked 15 years in the prison system, I know what desperation can do to people but it's not an excuse," customer Jim Steinberg said.

The Quality Meats employee was treated by EMS workers before being taken to a local hospital. Police say the suspect got into the restaurant down an alleyway around the corner from the restaurant off Sixth Avenue. When he got inside, he allegedly said he wanted to apply to a job. He was then directed to the manager's office, where the tussle happened.

After all that, the man stole $400 from the worker's backpack.

Police say the unidentified suspect caught on camera is a black man, about 5-foot-7, weight 180 pounds. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a black jacket, and a black winter hat.

Robbery and assault suspect at Quality Meats in Midtown on Nov. 9. (Credit: NYPD)

It wasn't immediately clear of Quality Meats was taking any extra security measures in wake of the attack. The brazen robbery in Midtown was part of a rash of violent assaults in Manhattan this past week.

Five people were assaulted in the nearby Hell's Kitchen area, including a man and woman attacked by a homeless man Friday morning. Another man struck with a broomstick across the head by 23-year-old attacker that same day.

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 (74682). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

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