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NYC girl, 9, slugged by madman in Grand Central reclaims her smile at NJ theme park

She’s received her smile again.

The 9-year-old Bronx woman too terrified to go outdoors after a deranged homeless man slugged her at Grand Central Terminal reclaimed her grin this week throughout a free journey to a New Jersey theme park. 

Kimberly Tapia reveled in mechanical animal rides, mini golf, mirror mazes and extra at “Nickelodeon Universe” — the biggest indoor theme park in the Western Hemisphere — on Monday, at the invitation of the shopping center American Dream. 

Kimberly Tapia riding a mechanical unicorn at American Mall
Kimberly Tapia, 9, rode a mechanical unicorn at Nickelodeon Universe at American Mall on Monday. Courtesy of the Tapia Family

Moved by The Post’s report on the teenager, the American Dream crew went via City Hall and NYPD officers to attach with Kimberly’s mother, Juana Tapia, and prepare the day, in response to the mall’s spokesman, Gregg Schwartz. 

“They called me and said ‘Let’s go play games,’ and Kimberly was so excited,” Tapia informed The Post.

“They took us to play games, they bought us candies, they bought us teddy bears, they bought us ice cream. . . . They received us very well,” the 36-year-old mother recalled. “She was very happy.”

In addition to the sights, the Tapias loved a complimentary lunch at MrBeast Burger and a “candy raid” at IT’SUGAR, a three-story confectionery retailer, Schwartz stated.

American Dream even put Kimberly’s identify on an enormous slime bucket, a Nickelodeon signature. 

“It was a special day putting a smile on a child’s face who was in need of some joy. We were happy to brighten up her day and she brightened up ours too,” Schwartz stated. 

Kimberly Tapia standing with her mother and American Dream personnel in front of the giant green slime bucket that reads "American Dream Welcomes Kimberly Tapia"
A Nickelodeon slime bucket reads “American Dream Welcomes Kimberly Tapia.” Courtesy of the Tapia Family
Kimberly Tapia posing with her mom, Juana Tapia
Kimberly (proper) suffered a punch to the pinnacle by an unhinged homeless man in Grand Central Terminal on April 13. J.C. Rice

Members of the National Latino Police Officer Advocate Association even escorted the Tapias from their Bronx condominium all the way in which to the East Rutherford website and again.

The officers had some phrases of recommendation for the teenager in the wake of the April 13 assault that left her bruised and traumatized. 

“They told her, ‘Don’t be afraid, you are alright, everything will be okay,’” Juana Tapia recalled, including, “I was surprised that [Kimberly] had fun, because before we went, she was still scared.”

Additional reporting by Tina Moore

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