NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Kyle Rogers woke up in an ambulance Sunday morning, completely unaware of the random attack that put him there.
The 23-year-old man and his parents then investigated, eventually tracking down surveillance video showing a man running up to Rogers and sucker-punching him before walking off.
Rogers, who broke his jaw and suffered facial lacerations, told CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider he’s positive he was a victim of a “knockout game” attack.
Watch the surveillance video:
“I’m defenseless,” said Rogers, whose mouth is wired shut. “It’s one thing if he was looking me in the face, like squaring up, but, come on, from behind? It’s like a coward move.”
Police released the surveillance video Thursday and are asking for the public’s help in tracking down the suspect, described as a black man in his 20s.
Rogers had just left his friends at a bar on Spring Street and was walking north on the Bowery when the attack occurred around 2:30 a.m. Sunday. He was knocked unconscious and taken to Bellevue Hospital.
“I guess when I fell and hit the ground, I split this open, my eyebrow, and my chin from the punch,” he said of his injuries.
Rogers said he didn’t know his attacker and his assailant didn’t say anything to him before punching him.
The attack had locals talking Thursday.
“It’s the middle of the city, there are crazy people running around everywhere, and when you’re walking around late at night, you just have to keep your head on a swivel and keep an eye on your surroundings,” said Jeff Wolinsky, of Sunnyside, Queens.
“I live in this neighborhood and people can be crazy, but it doesn’t make me nervous to be out and about,” one woman told Schneider. “It’s sad.”
Some New Yorkers said they take precautions when walking around at night.
“It’s a scary thing because I don’t live in this neighborhood. I go to school here, so I just always travel in a group or something usually,” said Talia Smith, of Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Rogers and his family are making a plea to find the man who attacked him. They also want anyone involved in any of the “knockout game” attacks that flared up around the city late last year to understand that the pain and consequences are real. In the game, participants punch unsuspecting strangers for kicks.
“I just want these kids to stop,” said Kyle’s father, Michael Rogers. “I want them to understand that it’s not a game. That’s the whole thing. They call it a game, and it’s not a game. People get hurt real bad.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto Crime Stoppers’ website or by texting their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577.
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