NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Police are on the lookout for a would-be mugger near Union Square.

It happened at 13th Street and Third Avenue Thursday at around 6 a.m.

The suspect approached a 28-year-old off-duty police officer and demanded his cell phone.

The off-duty officer resisted and the suspect pistol whipped him in the face and head.

(credit: Tara Jakeway/CBS2)

The suspect ran off. He didn’t get away with anything.

The victim was taken to the hospital in stable condition.

“I didn’t think something like that would happen in front of my house,” said resident Clara Fettawa. “Honestly, I didn’t think it it would be a bit dangerous like that. It’s stressful to be living here and think that any time you can go out someone can try to rob you.”

“I guess you’re always surprised, but I guess anything can happen. I’m not too worried about it,” said East Village resident Sam Howard.

Investigators are canvassing the area.