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Woman assaulted at Rochester Planet Fitness asking people to send tips to police

Union Leader Correspondent

June 21. 2017 12:01PM
A photo Erin McCarthy posted to Facebook Monday. She was the victim of an assault June 12 outside the Planet Fitness in Rochester. (COURTESY)

ROCHESTER — Police do not believe the public is in danger after a brutal beating at Planet Fitness sent an employee to the hospital last week.

Erin McCarthy, 18, a member service representative at the North Main Street gym, was leaving work at about 10 p.m. on June 12, and a man, who apparently had been waiting for her, got out of his car and attacked McCarthy in the parking lot.

Capt. Todd Pinkham at the Rochester Police Department said the attack was short, but McCarthy was struck many times.

Pinkham said Planet Fitness is a busy gym, and other people were coming and going throughout the evening, so it appears McCarthy was targeted. Police have video from a surveillance camera, and shared 16 seconds of it with the public Tuesday in the hope it would lead to an arrest.

“Based on the video we watched, we don’t feel this is a random attack. It appears she was targeted,” Pinkham said. “We do feel that the public is safe.”

The video shows a man in a white T-shirt, dark shorts, white sneakers and baseball cap get out of a light-colored Ford Fusion and start walking toward the camera. He appears to have sunglasses on, even though the incident took place at night. As McCarthy walks past him, the man turns around and approaches McCarthy from behind. As her back is turned, he strikes her on the right side of her head with his right fist.

Pinkham said they have requested more of the video to see if the man who beat McCarthy up had been waiting for her a long time. There is a possibility he is a stalker, Pinkham said.

On Monday, McCarthy posted photos of her bruises and a picture of the assailant to Facebook, saying, “Alright, so this is the … who decided to wait 8 hours just to beat (me) for a minute and a half literally. They counted 39 hits, mainly to the back of my head and 2 kicks to the face.”

McCarthy reported the incident to police and received medical attention after the attack. On Wednesday morning, McCarthy wrote that she appreciates all the messages and tips people have posted to her Facebook page, but said she is not a detective and is not getting paid to look for her assailant.

“So please, please, please send in tips to the police, even if it’s anonymous or the guy ‘kinda’ looks like him. It doesn’t matter, they’ll investigate it and find out if it’s him or not,” McCarthy wrote.

Police are asking anyone with information that could help in the investigation to call officer Frank Porfido at 330-7128.

Information can be provided anonymously by calling Rochester Crime Line at 335-6500 or send a text to CRIMES (274637). In the body of the text type TEXT4CASH and your tip.

Cash rewards are offered for information leading to an arrest.

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