NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A man and woman have been arrested and charged in connection with the brutal attack on a 75-year-old man in the West Village, police said Thursday evening.
Alleged assailant Deangelo Coleman, 20, of the Kenwood neighborhood of Chicago, was charged with two counts of assault in the attack on 14th Street on Wednesday afternoon.
Brianna Crusade, 19, who is homeless, was charged with grand larceny, police said. Authorities said a woman kept watch as a lookout while a man attacked the victim.
Police sources told CBS2 the two suspects were caught shoplifting at the Kmart at Penn Station. Security guards took them into custody, and when NYPD officers arrived, they recognized them as the suspects in the assault, sources said.
The victim of the random attack spoke to CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez earlier Thursday.
Ahmad Ahmad, 75, was back on his feet a day after the attack – out of the hospital and recovering at home. But his head and face were left severely bruised in the attack, which was caught on video.
“I didn’t see him because I’m walking. He hit me from my back,” Ahmad said. “I didn’t know who. I didn’t see him.”
The attack happened around 2:15 p.m. Wednesday as the victim was walking on West 14th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues outside of the Salvation Army’s executive offices.
A surveillance camera on the Salvation Army building captured the beating.
Police had said the victim exchanged words with the suspect, who then came back and without saying anything, punched the victim in the back of the head, knocking him to the ground before kicking his face, 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reported.
The surveillance video released by police begins with the victim already on the ground.
The images are so disturbing, police have frozen it where the suspect lifts his leg to kick the victim in the face, a blow that left the man unconscious, CBS2’s Janelle Burrell reported.
“At this point, we don’t know what the motive was, but it seems to be totally unprovoked,” NYPD Deputy Chief Patrick Conry said.
One witness, who did not want to be identified, told CBS2 it all happened within seconds. He said the woman was seen putting her hands to her face saying, “You better get out of here,” Burrell reported.
Police said the assailants just walked away, heading east on 14th Street, police said.
CBS2 showed Ahmad the video of the attack. He said he was knocked unconscious when his head hit the ground, and then only remembers waking up to Good Samaritans calling for help.
The Brooklyn grandfather said he did nothing at all to provoke the attack.
“Just walking the street,” he said. “Maybe he tried to rob me and he go behind me, see I’m a different color something like that. I don’t know.”
Ahmad, a retired seaman, said he was heading to the subway to go home after a day of shopping at the time of the attack. He said he never had any interaction with the suspects.
A gash on the back of his head had to be stapled shut.
“I’m going to tell him — what do you need from me? I didn’t have anything…. I didn’t know you. You didn’t know me. What do you need?” Ahmad said.
The victim’s son was likewise horrified.
“I wish I find the person who did that,” said Ahmad’s son, Sammy Mohamed, “because he’s my dad, you know, I feel very, very upset.”
People in the area were also shocked.
“Know that you can possibly be a victim of a random attack in the city, especially when there’s no cops patrolling the area,” a woman who works nearby said. “My hope was that some bystander would’ve stopped the help him.”
The attack happened across the street from Carol Rodriguez’s apartment. She has lived around West 14th Street for 40 years and said she’s furious.
“It’s disgusting,” she said. “This whole neighborhood has become disgusting.”
Rodriguez said she has been accosted on the same block before and said crimes like these are why she now carries a box cutter for protection.
“There needs to be more police on the streets,” she said.
The suspects did not rob Ahmad or take anything from him. He said he will not live in fear, and will go on taking the walks he has long enjoyed.