NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A suspect caught on camera repeatedly punching and kicking a man inside an elevator in the Bronx is still on the loose.

The victim is recovering in the same building in the Belmont where he was attacked on Friday night.

On Monday, he spoke to CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis.

“Everything he threw, he threw at my face,” Ray Diaz said.

The pain is evident with one look at Diaz’s two black eyes, as the veteran with a badly bruised face tried to recount the moments he was attacked in his apartment building elevator.

“I don’t really remember. It was so fast. He hit me in the face so many times. I have a messed up arm, I couldn’t fight back,” Diaz said.

He may not remember, but the incident was captured on surveillance cameras.

It starts with Diaz and another man entering an elevator. That man appears to even offer to press the button for him — a normal exchange. Then, out of nowhere, right as the elevator door opens, that same man, the suspect, takes a swing at Diaz, 67, again and again throwing punches.

(Credit: NYPD)

When asked if he has any idea why the man went after him, Diaz said, “I thought money, but I had no money.”

Diaz said he recognized the man who hit him from the neighborhood, but added the attack was unprovoked.

He said he went downstairs to get cigarettes and returned to the building on Southern Boulevard and East 187th Street where he lives his elderly mother, who got choked up when speaking about what happened to her son.

After the suspect throws a round of punches, he actually holds the elevator door open for another round. He then wipes the elevator with his sleeve, likely to try and cover his tracks.

Investigators said he took nothing from Diaz and ran off. Since the elevators in the building are right next to a desk with security, residents said they want to know how this happened.

“It doesn’t make no sense to have a security guard and cameras if they do nothing about it,” Angie Fernandez said.

“There was no security. If there would have been security, they would have come out or something, because I screamed,” Diaz said.

A man who identified himself as head of security declined an interview but told DeAngelis there’s a guard on post 24/7, and he’s working to figure out what happened at the time of the attack.

Police said the suspect took off in a dark-colored van.

The victim said he was half asleep when he went into the elevator and urges others to always be on alert.

Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or 1-888-57-PISTA (74782) for Spanish. You can also submit a tip via the Crime Stoppers website, by Tweeting @NYPDTips or by texting a tip to 274637.


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