NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A 51-year-old man faces charges for allegedly attacking a parks employee with a skateboard in Washington Square Park.
James Rhodes was arrested Wednesday and charged with felony assault.READ MORE: Teens, 17 And 19, Killed In West Hempstead Crash
Police say he assaulted Lawrence Mauro, a landscape architect, last Sunday morning.
The victim told CBS2’s Ali Bauman a young woman and her uncle nearly knocked him over on their skateboards and then berated him for being in the way – even though skateboarding isn’t allowed 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 in an exclusive interview. “I went down, went down on my hands and wrists, and I don’t think he had all expected me to get back up.READ MORE: New Surveillance Video Shows Suspect Who Allegedly Shot Teen Getting On City Bus In Harlem
“I couldn’t believe the anger,” he added. “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’s husband said he was “enraged” by the attack. He said he’s sick of skateboarders breaking the rules in the park without punishment.
“That’s the most important thing to me, some kind of enforcement,” said Bob Pesce. “If they’re not consistent, these people are just going to come back.”MORE NEWS: NYPD: 85-Year-Old Man Attacked & Robbed Outside Bronx Home
Mauro said the incident left him feeling “really angry and hopeless.”