NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — For days, Donald Lathrom has been the faceless, blurred victim in surveillance video of a senseless, brutal attack.
CBS 2’s Scott Rapoport visited the 72-year-old man as he lay in his hospital bed at Beth Israel Medical Center on Wednesday. Lathrom is the man seen on the disturbing footage being sucker-punched in the West Village on Monday.
Lathrom gave Rapoport permission to shoot images of him because he wanted viewers to see what was done to him. But the victim said he didn’t have the energy to talk much about the attack.
“I’m exhausted,” said Lathrom, who admitted the attack has taken a lot out of him.
Lathrom’s face is blackened and bruised, and he has a possible blood clot on his brain.
Around 5:30 p.m. Monday, Lathrom was punched as he was walked down Jane Street. The attacker, seemingly waiting patiently, struck with malice, knocking the victim to the ground, the video shows. The assailant then ran away with an accomplice.
Police say the men are in their early 20s.
Lathrom’s neighbors and friends said he is a retired cab driver who now walks dogs. They described him as a nice, gentle man.
“Nobody deserves that,” said friend Vera Burton. “Nobody. And I hope they get the sucker.”
Lathrom said he feels no ill will toward his attacker, but he can’t understand how anyone could commit such a violent act and take pleasure in it.
The NYPD is keeping a presence in the neighborhood while detectives are actively working the case.
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