Video shows a man smothering a teenage girl sitting at an outdoor dining table in a Queens restaurant

NEW YORK – Police launched a manhunt this week of a suspect who snuck up behind a teenage girl as she sat in an open-air restaurant and strangled her.

On Friday, the NYPD released surveillance video of the chilling incident, which took place Monday night at a sushi restaurant on Ditmars Boulevard near 33rd Street in Queens.

The 16-year-old victim was sitting at a restaurant table when the suspect came up behind her and wrapped his arm around her neck, briefly obstructing her breathing before releasing her, the video shows.

The man walked away, but then approached the teen again before someone else appeared to intervene, the video shows. The suspect later fled the scene, police said.

The teenager suffered pain, redness and swelling in her neck, but was not taken to a hospital, according to the NYPD.

Police urged anyone who recognizes the suspect to contact Crime Stoppers.

NYPD Crime Stoppers offered a $ 3,500 reward for information leading to an arrest.

Send tips to the police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting crimetoppers.nypdonline.orgby downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app or texting 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577. Callers in Spanish are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).

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