A woman, wearing traditional Muslim clothing, was walking by the Valentino store on Fifth Avenue when her blouse was set on fire. She patted out the flames and noticed a man standing next to her with a lighter in his hand. It was initially suspected to be a hate crime until other victims of other races came forward.
The other alleged attacks include a woman who was walking on Fifth Avenue near 57th Street when someone tried to light her leg on fire, a teenage girl who was walking with her mother on West 42nd Street when someone tried to set her shirt on fire and woman whose skirt was set on fire by someone in group who passed her on 54th Street and Fifth Avenue. Another woman was heading down to the Bryant Park subway station when a man was holding a lit lighter close to her arm.
A 14-year-old boy has been arrested and charged with one of the attacks. The boy, whose name has not released, was charged with second-degree attempted assault and aggravated harassment, and first-degree harassment. He was accused of th attack that happened Saturday at 127 W. 42nd Street against a teenage girl.
Police stated the boy was the one who appeared in surveillance video wearing a white shirt and headphones. They earlier identified another suspect.
Police are looking for four others, one male and three females, who were seen walking behind and around the time of the attacks.
All of the incidents happened Saturday night in Midtown.