Surveillance video captures woman being sucker punched in Wynwood

Man remains on loose after May 26 incident outside Wood Tavern

By Janine Stanwood - Anchor/Reporter, Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor

MIAMI - Surveillance video obtained Thursday by Local 10 News shows a woman being sucker punched last month by a man outside Wood Tavern in Miami's Wynwood neighborhood.

Naomie Payen said she was in Wynwood the night of May 26, as she is every Sunday with friends.

She said she saw a man harassing a street artist, so she had words with him about it. 

"So I was, like, 'Yo, why are you doing that? Like, this is how he makes his money. Like, chill out,'" she said. 

People who work nearby said they heard the commotion. Daniel Rincon, who was closing up a shop next door, said he saw a crowd.

"I just heard a lot of screaming," Rincon said. "And then I look, and I had seen this guy, and he had yelled, 'Oh, somebody better get that girl.'"

Payen said she ducked into Wood Tavern to get away. But 20 minutes later, when she came back out, the stranger was standing right there. 

"No warning. No shouting. He just punched me in the face," Payen said. "It's like he was staking me out. He was waiting for me to walk out to hit me."

Water vendor Melvin Harrell was in the area and said he saw her on the ground.

"She had large bruises on both sides of her head, and I reached into my cooler and got some water and gave it to her, along with some ice," Harrell said.

Payen's friend, who works in the area, was disturbed by the video of the attack.

"I just want her to know the neighborhood supports her," she said. "I feel like women are very vulnerable out here."

The incident involving Payen occurred a couple weeks after another woman and her partner had been attacked in the same neighborhood.

Jessica Saravia and Susana Duron said they were walking in the neighborhood's popular area of Second Avenue at 24th Street when a group of men started to harass them. They had picked up some pizza and after the cat-calling, one of the men asked for a slice. 

"The moment I spoke up, he struck me," Saravia said, adding that she had never seen the man before. "He split my lip. I got seven to 10 stitches from the inside out. I’m missing teeth on top and I have loose teeth on the bottom." 

The men struck Saravia several times in the head. She suffered a mild concussion. Duron punched one of the men, and he pushed her to the ground. Although her head hit concrete, she wasn't seriously injured. 

Miami police are investigating both attacks. They are also investigating another attack from the same night as Payen's incident that might have involved in the same man. No arrests have been made in any of the incidents.

Anyone with further information is asked to call Miami police or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.

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