EAST VILLAGE, Manhattan (PIX11) — At first, people in Tompkins Square Park didn’t even see her coming.

A video shows unsuspecting victims terrorized by a woman experiencing an apparent mental health crisis on Sunday. One woman had her hair pulled, another person had a newspaper ripped from his hands, and a mother stood by stunned with her baby, the video shows.

The rampage then moved to restaurants along Avenue A. Some customers at Yuca Bar ran away mid-meal after having their plates and glasses tossed from the table. 

Eventually, the NYPD took the woman away and brought her to Bellevue Hospital for an evaluation.

“It’s kind of become normal in New York and that’s a problem,” said a worker in the neighborhood who believes the same woman has been suffering for several years. 

“This one time, she went over to the customer’s cup and spit in it,” recalled Christal Colon. 

The woman’s removal by police officers was part of an ongoing effort by the city to try and break the cycle of people who may harm themselves or others. 

 “If you call 911 and they don’t help, they’re there the next day. You feel like, why bother? We need to do something collectively to solve these problems,” said New York Assemblyman Harvey Epstein, who represents the 74th District in the East Village.

Epstein said when someone is taken to the hospital, they may be given medication. But if they’re homeless and are released, the problematic behavior will likely continue without supportive housing.

“Last year, in the five-year housing plan, we put billions of dollars for creation of new housing. We built 6,000 of 20,000 beds we need,” Epstein said. “We’re not doing well enough yet.”

In a statement, a City Hall spokesperson told PIX11 News:

“Connecting New Yorkers living with severe mental illness to support and care is a top priority of this administration. We’ve made progress investing in and strengthening our mental health care system and will continue to build on this critical work so that all New Yorkers have access to the mental health resources they need.”

NYC spokesperson