Theresa Casivant, Lee’s alleged attacker. Photo via New York Daily News
A Korean American broadcast journalist was allegedly punched in the throat by a woman who had broken into her news van last Friday, according to news reports.
The New York Post identified the attacker as 24-year-old Theresa Casivant. Casivant, dressed in white sheet, sweat pants and green sandals, entered NY1 reporter Vivian Lee’s news van without permission, and began to apply Lee’s makeup and eat her food.
A news van operator then forcibly removed Casivant from the truck after she refused to leave willingly. But Casivant still did not leave the area. Lee then said she addressed the young woman directly.
Lee told reporters she believed the woman was mentally ill and only wanted her out of the news van.
“I said, ‘What is your issue? Are you lost? Are you homeless? Are you sick,’” Lee told the New York Post. Lee’s questioning prompted a surprise attack from Casivant, who struck her in the throat.
As a journalist, Lee said she is no stranger to negative or volatile exchanges between people, but that the hit to the throat was a “low blow.” Nonetheless, Lee recognized the situation could have escalated.
“It could’ve been worse, she said. “This does happen to a lot of media people.”