POLITICS

Canadian women accused of slashing woman's face in upscale Manhattan hotel

07/14/2015 12:01 EDT | Updated 07/14/2016 05:59 EDT
Three Canadian women accused of attacking another woman with a champagne bottle and glasses in an upscale Manhattan hotel appeared in criminal court Tuesday where they were charged with felony assault and weapons offences.

The women, all from southern Ontario, were arrested early Monday as they were driving from New York into New Jersey, authorities said.

The motive for the alleged attack, which occurred Sunday evening in a room at the W Hotel in Times Square, was not immediately known.

"They were at a party inside the hotel (and) the victim reports that they assaulted her," said Joe Pentangelo with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

"The victim states that she had not known them, had never seen them, prior to this party."

Authorities said a 35-year-old woman from Stamford, Conn., was taken by ambulance to hospital, where she received three dozen stitches to her face. Following treatment, she and a friend returned to the hotel, where they spotted the three suspects in a Chrysler with Ontario licence plates, they said.

Pentangelo said they followed the car to the Lincoln Tunnel, where they approached an officer in a marked police car to report an assault and call for the arrests.

"The investigation yielded that there had been an assault inside the hotel," Pentangelo said.

At that point the three accused, who were not hurt, were arrested and their vehicle seized.

Police identified the accused as Monique Boakye-Yiadom, 35, of Brampton, Aleesha Williams, 26, of Mississauga, and Amy Walker, 30, of Kitchener.

The trio were charged with gang assault — for allegedly acting together in the attack — assault, and criminal possession of a weapon.

Gregory Gomez, the lawyer for Williams, said the women had co-operated with an initial police and hotel investigation and were returning to Canada as scheduled when they were arrested.

"It's not as if they behaved in such a manner, then got in a getaway car and fled," Gomez said in an interview.

According to the Manhattan district attorney complaint sheet, the complainant accused Boakye-Yiadom of striking her in the face with a bottle causing a black eye and deep gash. The other two, according to the document, hit her with drinking glasses on the back of her head, causing bruising and cuts.

During the women's appearance in Manhattan court, bail was set at amounts ranging from US$20,000 to $30,000 each. As of late Tuesday, they had been unable to raise the cash bail and were still in custody in a local detention centre.

A grand jury investigation is planned for Thursday and they are to appear publicly on Friday to find out the results.

"We are investigating the case and hopefully working out a favourable disposition as soon as possible," Gomez said.

The legal aid lawyers for the other two women could not immediately be reached.

Boakye-Yiadom is listed as the CEO of an event planning company. Williams, who has no criminal record, is an event planner, said Gomez, who called the alleged conduct "completely out of character."

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said the incident happened early Tuesday.