Lee was in the Cobble Hill area of Brooklyn covering a news story when the incident happened early Friday morning.
The New York Daily News
reports the woman, wearing a white sheet and green flip-flops, sneaked into the van and began rummaging around before she started applying Lee's makeup and munching on Lee's snacks. But when the reporter approached, the woman took a swing at her. The van's driver stepped in and pulled her out of the van but once outside, the woman attacked Lee, punching her in the throat. Lee tells the New York Post
“I thought maybe she was mentally ill.” "I just wanted her out of the truck.” “I said, ‘What is your issue? Are you lost? Are you homeless? Are you sick?’ ” That’s when she was hit in the throat. “I just kept asking her, ‘Why would you hit me? Why would you strike? I didn’t touch you.’ Lee and her crew kept the woman at the scene until police arrived.
The Daily Mail
says 24-year old Theresa Casivant was taken to Long Island College Hospital for a psychological evaluation.
Lee was taken to hospital as a precaution. She tells the Post, the assault has left her trembling. "I felt very, very vulnerable." She says she thought she had seen it all as a veteran reporter in Canada and New York, “I’ve been heckled, having people jump into the shot, having people touch you in a friendly or unfriendly way . . . You’re at the mercy of whoever is out there.” “I’ve been sexually assaulted in Canada and New York.” "You wonder why people think you’re part of the furniture. You appear in their residence, on their television. You’re familiar.”
Lee is planning to start self-defense classes. She says TV camera lights can attract all kinds of people.
She's back at work today and is thanking all her friends and well-wishers for their concern.