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Woman Beaten Into Coma In Apparent Case Of 'Parking Space Rage'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- You've probably seen it before: people standing in the street saving parking spaces.

But in the East Village, one man's violent reaction nearly cost a woman her life.

Police said the parking rage escalated to the point where the man punched the small woman in the head, causing brain damage, reports Pablo Guzman.

RELATED: Study: 'Sidewalk Rage' Plagues New York City Streets

Lana Rosas' car was being driven away on Friday, her neighbors said, by her boyfriend and another man. It had been in front of her Bronx building since the fight that sent her into a coma on Feb. 25. The incident happened on East 14th Street, between the 25-year-old, 4-foot-11, 100-pound Rosas and the 35-year-old, 5-7, 165-pound Oscar Fuller.

Fuller's lawyer, Tom Kenniff, said Fuller was trying to back into a parking spot that Rosas said she was standing in, to hold that spot for a friend. Fuller then told her to move.

"She refused. At which point Mr. Fuller stepped out of his vehicle to speak with her. She immediately began striking him about the face. He has the injuries to substantiate that. We have photographs of those injuries," Kenniff said.

The NYPD said surveillance cameras across the street at Stuyvesant Town may have captured what happened.

When asked if there's any video that supports his version of the events, Kenniff told Guzman, "From conversations with the district attorney''s office, there is video. I believe that that video will substantiate the fact that the young lady, who is in the coma, was the initial aggressor."

"The coma." Rosas has been in Bellevue Hospital since the night of the altercation. Residents were alarmed by the savage beating.

"That's crazy, that's crazy. It shouldn't happen, shouldn't happen. It's a woman, you know? It shouldn't happen," neighbor Yolanda Drayton told CBS 2's Derricke Dennis.

"That's terrible news, terrible news. I don't know much about her, but that's terrible news."

As the police complaint against fuller says, "The a coma, her skull had to be opened to relieve pressure on her brain, and the woman might die, stay in a coma, or...have permanent brain damage."

"If there is anything he could do to make this right, make this better, he would do it," Kenniff said.

The suspect is being held on $100,000 bail.

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