NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — At 72 years old, Carlos Ortiz is still spry enough to tell a bunch of young toughs to stop mugging his friend.

And it cost him a punch in the face.

“I’m just glad it wasn’t a knife,” Ortiz told CBS 2’s John Slattery.

Police have released surveillance video of the man they say threw the punch, leaving Ortiz with a cut below his eye Thursday night outside a bodega in the Castle Hill section of the Bronx.

Ortiz said a group of about five men were robbing a man they had on the ground.

“I see these guys beating up on somebody in the parking lot,” Ortiz said. “When I saw it was Julio, I said, ‘Oh, it’s Julio'”

The victim was Julio Colon, in his mid 50s, who lives across the street. Ortiz told them to stop, and one of them retaliated.

“Pointed a finger at me,” Ortiz said. “Went after my crutch. Then he let the crutch go and took a swing at me. He cracked me in the eye.”

The group then scattered.

Police say the suspect is 28 years old, 6 feet tall and nearly 200 pounds.

Police are asking anyone with information about the assault to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-8477 or to submit a tip online at All communications are kept confidential.

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