Like millions and millions of people before her, tourist Aleksandra Cvetkovic wanted to commemorate her first time in New York City with a Times Square photo-op. A very ornery woman named Deanne Ostbye had other plans. The incident pictured here, first reported by the Daily News on Sunday, was captured by Cvetkovic’s best friend, Ivana Lisavac-Bloom, who was hosting her old pal from Serbia. “She never the saw the person coming,” Lisavac-Bloom’s husband Jonathan Bloom explained to Daily Intelligencer today. “Just snapped and it was instantaneous. It was a complete luck shot.” The women, though, are reluctant to talk about their experience for fear of inflaming international tensions.
“They don’t want any more press,” said Bloom, who was home with the kids in Maryland when the push occurred. “They’re worried about the boomerang effect in Serbia. Serbia is not a big fan of the United States, going back to the nineties with Clinton and Madeleine Albright, so when bad things happen to this country they’re not unhappy. When they hear something happen to their own, they take it personally.”
“I don’t see an issue,” he added.
Cvetkovic’s nationality had nothing to do with the push, assumed Bloom, who guessed it was more likely “because she blonde. … Aleksandra attributed it just to a crazy lady, not to being in New York or America.” Ostbye, the pusher, has a history of arrests for assault and was apprehended at the scene. Bloom said he believes the assailant is the same woman seen screaming and getting violent in this alleged bath salts video, which he turned over to prosecutors.
Bloom insisted that Cvetkovic, while shaken up, “really liked New York City” and “didn’t take it personally.” But her fears about inflaming anger at the United States from abroad may be valid: Ostbye’s Facebook photos now feature dozens of angry comments, many of them in Serbian.