NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An 85-year-old man is back home recovering after police said he was sucker punched in a quiet public park on the Upper East Side this week.
Surveillance video shows the victim being followed Tuesday afternoon on the promenade of Carl Schurz Park by a man in a red hat.
The video stops just before police said the suspect punched the victim in the side of the head, causing him to fall and cut the skin just above his eye.
The victim, who did not want to go on camera, told CBS2’s Ali Bauman that he miraculously stayed conscious the whole time and managed to ask for help from a security guard at Gracie Mansion.
The guard called 911.
Many parkgoers were shocked by the attack.
“We’re not expecting something like that to happen in this park, especially because it’s mostly families and dogs,” parkgoer Timothea Ratchford said.
“Everyone looks out for everyone, everyone looks out for my dog,” parkgoer Allegra Eifler said. “It’s awful.”
The suspect did not steal anything from his victim, leaving many uneasy about the senseless violence.
“I mean if you’re gonna rob somebody that’s still wrong but you can look at that and understand that. But you’re getting sucker punched as you walking work or going go home and it’s very disconcerting,” said parkgoer Hadley Fisher.
Police said the assailant fled south on the promenade.
Anyone with information was asked to call the NYPD Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS or (888) 57-PISTA for Spanish, log onto the Crime Stoppers website, or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) and enter TIP577.