Pop Culture

Steve Buscemi’s Alleged NYC Attacker Arrested

Police found the individual responsible after responding to a harassment call at a homeless shelter.

Steve Buscemi‘s alleged attacker has been arrested in New York City, more than a week after the actor was punched and injured in a seemingly random act of violence. Police had been searching for 50-year-old Clifton Williams since at least Monday. After responding to a harassment call at a homeless shelter in Manhattan on Friday afternoon, their probe led to the arrest of Williams for second-degree assault after he was taken into custody for questioning, TMZ reported.

According to the outlet, the police said Williams had started making a lost property police report and showed officers his identification when they recognized his name and arrested him. Known for his role in Boardwalk Empire, Buscemi was attacked while walking on Manhattan’s Lower East Side on May 8. 

The 66-year-old actor was captured on surveillance video walking south on Third Avenue when she looked up to greet someone before crossing the street. Moments later, a man punched Buscemi, police said. In an additional video, the same man is seen talking to himself while walking north on Third Avenue just before he attacks without provocation. 

After being taken to Bellevue Hospital for bruising, swelling, and bleeding in his left eye, Buscemi, who is a Brooklyn native and a former FDNY firefighter, was released but declined to do an on-camera interview the following day. Recently, photos of bruising around Buscemi’s eye surfaced in the media, but he has since released a statement letting his fans know he is doing well and is recovering. According to TMZ, Williams has not yet been released and is awaiting charges.

During the course of the last few months, New York has been beset by random acts of violence, with the NYPD investigating many more assaults in 2024 in the city A report issued by the NYPD on Monday indicated that felony assaults in the city over the last year were up 15% year-to-date, and misdemeanor assaults were up about 7% over the same period.

“We are seeing an uptick, and of course that’s scary to all of us, but it doesn’t mean it’s a trend that’s going to continue,” former NYPD Commissioner Rich Esposito told CBS New York.  Additionally, there have been a number of incidents where celebrities have been publicly attacked in the city as well.

Michael Stuhlbarg, who co-starred with Buscemi in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire, was attacked at random in the Upper East Side in March. Also, in 2020, the actor Rick Moranis was attacked randomly on the Upper West Side. 

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