Hammer Attack Outside of Catholic Worker’s Maryhouse

photo(208)Daniel Maurer

A woman was attacked with a hammer outside of the Catholic Worker’s Maryhouse at 55 East Third Street this morning, a resident of the facility said.

Amy Nee, who has lived and worked at the Maryhouse for three months, said she didn’t witness the attack, which occurred shortly after 7 a.m., but detectives told her about it as the victim waited in an ambulance. She said the woman, whose first name was Katie and whose last name she did not know, often came to the Maryhouse for lunches and showers. A police representative was unable to confirm the incident for The Local, but DNA Info reported that the victim, 39, was struck in the head and taken to Bellevue Hospital in stable condition.

Maryhouse, which houses mostly women and is run in a communal fashion by volunteers committed to poverty, was opened in the 1970s by Catholic anarchist Dorothy Day. As The Local has reported, it has served as a refuge for members of the Occupy Wall Street movement, among others in need of food and shelter.

An 80-year-old resident of East Fifth Street who did not want to give her name because she uses the Maryhouse’s services, said that emergency vehicles outside of the shelter were an increasingly common sight. “Lately, several people have been taken away by ambulances,” she said, adding of the Maryhouse, “Rich families dump their sick people on them and from my point of view they’re not really equipped to handle it. They are basically really wonderful people but these days I question their judgment.”

But Ms. Nee said she hadn’t witnessed any scuffles during her three months at Maryhouse. “On this block there are certainly incidents on the street but I wouldn’t say they’re in relation to our house. It’s just kind of an area in which these things happen.” The block, she said, had long been considered a rough one due in part to the presence of the Hell’s Angels clubhouse, but it had quieted down significantly in recent years.

In March, a pistol-whipping and robbery brought police to a guest suite at Interfaith Community Services, just next-door to the Hell’s Angels at 73 East Third Street.