NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Police are searching for a suspect wanted for punching a sanitation worker in the face and running off.

It happened in the Highbridge section of the Bronx at around 2:15 p.m. on Jan. 2 along Edward L. Grant Highway.

Police are trying to track down a man seen on video punching a sanitation worker in the Bronx. (Credit: NYPD)

The sanitation worker was emptying a trash can when he was assaulted. Police are asking residents in the Highbridge section to be on high alert for the man they say is responsible.

Surveillance video shows the man walking down steps, rounding the corner at Grant Highway. He then turns around, punches the on-duty city employee in the head and runs off.

Police say the 41-year-old sanitation supervisor didn’t know the man that hit him.

“It’s messed up, because people are going crazy and attacking people for no reason,” said Highbridge resident Anthony Galloway.

“Terrible, terrible, terrible, what can I say,” said Antonia Hernandez.

The colorful steps are a busy thoroughfare in the afternoon with people returning from school and work, and at the bottom, there’s a bus stop on one side and a subway station on the other.

Leigh Larry and Alexis Smith just moved around the corner a month ago. Now they’re concerned for the safety of their two young children.

“Probably [going to] put them in after-school programs, like different programs, so that way they don’t have to be out here,” Larry said.

Many in the neighborhood are at a loss for words after seeing the violent behavior, reported CBS2’s Tara Jakeway.

“Unacceptable. Not nice at all,” said a woman name Beatrice.

“The community is pretty tight. Everyone knows each other. So for that to happen randomly is kind of out of order,” said America Ramirez.

Ramirez lives wither her three younger sisters, two doors down from where the punch was thrown just after 4 p.m.

“It was broad daylight, so now we have to communicate with each other and make sure that they don’t go home alone,” Ramirez said.

“It means that we are not safe going out, because some random people coming over here and punching another one without knowing what happened,” said Wanda Rodriguez.

Police say they do not know what the motive was behind the hit, but it appears to be unprovoked. That’s something neighbors say has become a common occurrence throughout the five boroughs.

“It doesn’t just happen on these steps. It happens anywhere around the city,” Highbridge resident Juan Jimenez said.

“We’ve been having that lately, people just attacking people and elderly people. It’s not good for the city, period. We all live in New York, we all have got to learn to get along together,” Galloway said.

The suspect was last seen wearing a red hat, dark jacket, sweatpants and blue sneakers.

Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to call the 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 274637.


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