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Suspect arrested in restroom beating of woman

A construction worker from Pennsylvania was charged Friday with brutally beating and attempting to rape a woman in a restroom at a midtown Manhattan bar after she rejected his advances.

Mbarek Lafrem, 30, of Norwood, Pa., was charged with assault and attempted rape, chief police spokesman Paul Browne said. Lafrem made statements implicating himself in the beating, Browne said.

Lafrem had been working at a midtown construction site and was staying at a hotel near the bar. Co-workers called police after seeing Lafrem in a video walking down the sidewalk after the attack, Browne said.

The attack occurred around 2 a.m. Thursday at Social on Eighth Avenue in midtown where the 29-year-old victim had gone with a friend, authorities said. The woman told police that she had rebuffed attempts by the man to dance with her, Browne said. She said when she went to the women's restroom on the second floor, he followed her and burst into the stall.

Her friend found her unconscious in the stall and called 911. The woman was hospitalized with a broken eye socket, broken jaw and other injuries.- AP

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