NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Police are searching for a man who punched another man in the face in Hell’s Kitchen, and then fled the scene.
A dispute over a dog caused the man to punch Paul Martone, 55, in the face, police said.
Martone fell backwards to the ground and the man took off running, carrying what appeared to be a bike chain.
A source told CBS 2 that Martone had been walking his dog near his home on 55th Street and 9th Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen on Tuesday night, when the man apparently stepped over the dog to get to the curb.
As CBS 2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, an argument ensued and the attacker slugged Martone.
“I saw this man with a bike chain running that way down 56th Street, like a bat out of hell, and I though oh no that can’t be good, and then I came here and saw the guy lying in the street,” Denis Hyland said.
Police released the surveillance video of the brutal punch and an employee at a Bike & Roll rental stand in Central Park recognized the alleged assailant as the same person who harassed her two weeks ago.
“It was actually my marketing manager who recognized him as soon as she saw it. He harassed and threatened her about two weeks ago,” Chris Wogas said.
Wogas said the quick thinking employee took pictures of the man to show police after he tried to intimidate her while she was working.
“He started standing next to her and following her everywhere she went and eventually moved up to him trying to bump into her and threatening her,” Wogas said.
Wogas said that the man bothers his employees on a regular basis.
“It’s bad enough these guys have to deal with it every day. He’s never gotten violent. It’s obviously a concern that it could happen and now that it has we’re even more concerned,” he said.
The suspect was described as a white man in his 30s; standing about 5 feet, 10 inches tall; weighing about 170 pounds. He has curly blonde hair.
He was wearing gray sneakers, a turquoise t-shirt, and blue shorts at the time of the incident.
Anyone with any information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). You can submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or by texting them to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577.
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