NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Julian Nickson just turned 18 last month and was celebrating his coming of age by taking a trip into Manhattan without his parents to see a concert with his friend.

On the way home Sunday night, the Haledon, N.J., was jumped by four men and slashed in the face with a blade outside the Port Authority Bus Terminal, CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez reported.

The attack left Nickson with 24 stitches in his head and a broken wrist.

“I was just trying to get home,” Nickson said. “I was just trying to get home.”

Nickson said he doesn’t know what set the men off.

“I’m confused really,” he said. “Why me? What did I do? I went to a concert. I didn’t say nothing to you. I don’t know you.”

Nickson said around 11:30 p.m. he and his friend, David, were looking for their bus after attending a concert at Irving Plaza when the men surrounded him, attacked him and snatched his phone.

David pushed the attackers off, and he and Nickson ran to their bus.

“I was trying to get out the city,” Nickson said. “I didn’t want to be there no more.”

Nickson’s parents said they struggled with the decision to let their son travel into Manhattan.

“The world had changed a little bit,” said the victim’s father, James. “So you sort of say yes and no. But sometimes, you’ve got to let them go. So I said yes.”

“We’re a little devastated because the first time we kind of let go of the reigns, this happened,” said the teen’s mother, Gina.

“His innocence now has been shattered, I guess,” Gina Nickson added. “And James said he doesn’t want him to go to New York, but I actually want to take him back to the city as a family because I really don’t want him to be afraid.”

Nickson admitted he’s having doubts about venturing into New York City again.

“What if I do go back, and I don’t come back? I won’t be this lucky next time,” he said, pointing his stitches.

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