NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A city parks department employee assaulted on the job in Washington Square Park is talking about his terrifying ordeal as police seek his attacker.
Lawrence Mauro has been working for the parks department for 35 years and says while there have been plenty of times he’s felt threatened, he has never attacked like this, reports CBSN New York’s Jessica Layton.
The assault happened Sunday in Washington Square Park around 11:30 in the morning.
“Totally surprised I held that little composure I had in check against my anger,” said Mauro.
Mauro is recovering at home from a concussion, swollen black and blue eye and several other cuts and bruises after he says he suffered after being bashed in the head not once but twice by a man with a skateboard.
“I’ve a pretty good headache, as you can imagine,” he said.
Mauro, a landscape architect, had gone to the park to catch up on emails and timesheets. He says he had words with a young woman and her uncle who nearly knocked him over on their skateboards – and then berated him for being in their way even though skateboarding is against the rules in the park.
“He turned around and lunged at me, and took a full swing and hit me in the side of the head with the skateboard,” he said. “I went down, went down on my hands and wrists, and I don’t think he had all expected me to get back up.
“I couldn’t believe the anger,” said Mauro. “I grabbed my cane and started to get up, and he came back and swung at me and hit me in the head from the other side again.”
Mauro managed to snap a photo of the suspect who has not yet been identified by police as the suspect they’re looking for.
Mauro says the suspect is known for playing the saxophone in the park, so police should have an idea of who they’re looking for.
“I’m just so enraged,” said Bob Pesce, the victim’s husband who is not only sickened by the attack, but tired of skateboarders breaking the rules in the park without the fear of punishment.
“That’s the most important thing to me, some kind of enforcement,” he said. “If they’re not consistent, these people are just gonna come back.”
Skateboarding wasn’t as big a problem on Monday since parks enforcement patrol was out. When Parks Enforcement Patrol officers left,it was game on again for the skateboarders.
“It’s just kind of left me feeling really angry and hopeless,” said Mauro.
Mauro is also hoping that the Parks Department will start to add more officers to keep an eye on workers who are so out in the open and vulnerable to these attacks.