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N.Y. Woman Hit With Concrete Block

July 10, 2000

NEW YORK (AP) _ An aspiring social worker who was bashed in the head with a 5-pound chunk of concrete was upbeat about her recovery Monday and said the man who hit her probably had a troubled childhood.

``This attack made me feel that the guy who attacked me, 20 years ago was probably a struggling kid,″ said 25-year-old Tiffany Goldberg, who hopes to help disturbed children after attending graduate school in social work at Columbia University in the fall.

Goldberg, who was interviewed in her room at Bellevue Hospital, was attacked Sunday as she left a church where she sings in the choir. The assailant tried unsuccessfully to snatch her purse.

No arrests had been made as of Monday afternoon.

It was at least the third such attack in New York City in the past year. Goldberg said that Nicole Barrett, who was bashed in the head with a paving stone in November, has e-mailed her get-well wishes from Texas.

Goldberg, a native of Madison, Wis., suffered a black eye, a bruise on her chin, a fracture in the back of her skull and two chipped front teeth.

``This is a very cup-half-full situation,″ she said. ``If he would have been a little mightier or struck me in a different way I might have been more seriously hurt or even killed.″

Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who visited Goldberg on Monday, called her ``a very brave young woman.″ He added, ``The police are doing everything they can to find the person who did this.″

Goldberg, a 1996 graduate of elite Sarah Lawrence College, works as a waitress at a trendy restaurant. She has been described by friends as a talented singer who has appeared in small-scale productions.

At least two people witnessed the attack in the Murray Hill section of Manhattan and described the assailant as a disheveled man apparently in his 30s.

An off-duty firefighter, Lt. Jimmy Hurley, was driving by when he saw Goldberg being attacked. Hurley said Monday he tried to chase the attacker, but when he saw how badly Goldberg was bleeding, he ran to help her, wrapping his white T-shirt around her head, and held her hand.

He said to her: ``I’m Jimmy. I’m a fireman.″

And Goldberg said to him: ``Well, fireman Jimmy. Don’t leave me.″

Hurley called 911, and after Goldberg had been taken to the hospital, he rode around with police, searching unsuccessfully for the suspect.

Hurley visited Goldberg in the hospital and said he has a sister the same age as her who lives in the neighborhood where the attacked occurred.

``It could have been her. I’m very happy to hear that she’s fine,″ he said.

Police Commissioner Howard Safir said descriptions of the attacker appeared to match those of a homeless man who frequents the neighborhood. Police distributed a sketch Monday.

In May, a 30-year-old woman was hit with a brick and robbed. And last November, Barrett, then 27, was attacked in midtown Manhattan while walking to work. An ex-convict was arrested and charged in the attack.

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