NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The search is on for two suspects who police said violently attacked a man as he walked in Central Park.

The incident occurred Monday night on a pathway near 86th Street and Central Park West.

A 38-year-old man was walking in the park alone just before 9 p.m. when he was confronted by two masked men, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported.

One of the men had a knife, and the other punched the victim in the face as they stole his phone, Carlin reported.

The incident reminds some longtime residents of crime-ridden days decades ago.

“I wouldn’t go through the park at night, it’s a better time than it was in the 70s or 80s but still I think it’s a little risky,” Upper West Side resident Steve Sisskind said.

Resident Nathan Thienel was surprised to hear about the attack, saying he runs in the park at night and that it’s “generally pretty safe.”

Police said the victim is a resident and not a tourist; he was wearing his headphones and probably didn’t notice his attackers coming, Carlin reported.

He was taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital. There is no word on his condition.

Police are checking for video from the 86th Street subway station for anything that might help them catch the suspects before they strike again.

Police consider this a crime of snowy opportunity where suspects can bundle up from head to toe and be harder to identify, Carlin reported.


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