New York Police Looking For a Man Who Walked into a Gym And Threw Bleach At An Employee

New York police are hunting a man who walked into a gym and doused an employee working behind the front desk with bleach.

The suspect walked into a Planet Fitness at 777 Broadway in Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, New York City, on September 21, the New York Police Department said.

He approached the front desk at around 8.30 p.m. and threw bleach in the 20-year-old employee's face, the NYPD said.

Surveillance footage of the incident shows the suspect approach the front desk wearing a red cap, white T-shirt and black pants and carrying a black bag with the the white bottle of bleach hidden inside.

The brief video clip then shows the suspect throwing the contents of the bottle over the counter quickly before running off.

The suspect fled the scene in an unknown direction, according to the NYPD.

The victim was taken to the nearby New York Health & Hospitals/Woodhull where they were treated for burning and irritation to the face.

The suspect and victim didn't know one another, sources told CBS New York.

The surveillance video was released by the NYPD on Thursday in a bid to identify the suspect with the assistance of the public.

In a statement to Newsweek, McCall Gosselin, vice president of PR and communications at Planet Fitness, said: "At Planet Fitness, the safety of our employees and members is our utmost priority and we are appalled by this terrible incident that occurred at our Bushwick location. The local franchise group is currently working with the local authorities to assist in their investigation in any way possible."

Anyone with information about the suspect in the Planet Fitness incident is urged to call the NYPD's Crimestoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). All calls are strictly confidential, police said.

Tips can be submitted online at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or on Twitter @NYPDTips.

Attacks involving acid or other corrosive substances disproportionately affect women, according to Acid Survivors Trust International.

Around 1,500 acid attacks are recorded around the world every year, yet it's a crime that is often not reported due to victims fearing reprisals by the perpetrators, according to the non-profit organization.

Dr. Simon Harding, a professor of criminology at the University of West London in the U.K., recently noted that acid and corrosive substances have become a weapon of choice for some because they are easy to acquire and not illegal to carry.

"Carrying bleach moved away from being a weapon of last resort, where it was used to target someone you truly hated," he told the Evening Standard after acid attacks soared to record levels in London.

"It's not prohibitive to carry bleach, you can buy it online or any DIY stores, it's difficult to prove any illegal motive in carrying it and you can hide it or disguise it in a drink bottle," Harding previously told news.com.au.

Update: This article has been updated to include a comment from Planet Fitness.

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New York police are hunting a man who entered a Planet Fitness gym in Brooklyn and threw bleach at an employee. New York Police Department