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On January 18, a 31-year-old woman was the victim of a horrific attack at a liquor store near West 128th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue in Harlem. After leaving work around 6 p.m. the unidentified woman says three men approached her in the store and offered to buy a bottle of wine on her behalf. She declined and proceeded to buy the items herself. However, things took a quick and nasty turn when she exited the store.

After she left, the men reportedly followed her outside and accosted her. “I just asked [one of the assailants], I said, ‘You’re seriously trying to fight me? I’m trying to go about my business.’” And that was when the attack began.

“I just remember screaming to the top of my lungs, I just kept saying ‘He’s biting me! He’s biting me!'” she told NBC. “He bit through my eyebrow and then he continued to just, he kept opening his mouth to try to like re-grasp.”

“To bite me, and do that,” the woman told the news station. “Maul me the way that he did – with me screaming and saying ‘I’m just trying to get my daughter.’ That – that’s an animal. That’s not a person.”

“It’s just sad, you can’t even go about your day, minding your business … a polite decline could lead to something like this,” the woman said. “I’m a mother, I’m a daughter, I’m a friend. This could be anyone’s mother, sister, daughter that are just in a store minding their business, purchasing their goods.”

The local activist group SAVE (Stand Against Violence East Harlem) was one of the groups protesting outside the store Saturday night, and director Omar Jackson was clear about the need for justice. “If we don’t do it, who [will]. It’s our responsibility, it’s our duty to protect our women and children in our community.”

The suspects have not yet been identified and are not yet in custody. Those with any information on the attack are being asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.