By Natalie Duddridge

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police are searching for a panhandler who was caught on camera attacking an employee with a brick outside a Lower East Side bagel shop.

On Tuesday, CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge spoke with the store manager, who did not want to appear on camera.

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The manager said the suspect has come around many times before asking for money, and they have even given him bagels. She said this time he was harassing customers, so a staff member asked him to leave. That’s when he attacked.

Surveillance video shows the suspect threaten a 63-year-old man with a chair before punching him and knocking him onto the ground.

(Credit: NYPD)

“Dangerous. I don’t know if he wants money or something,” one person said after seeing the video.

The fight spilled onto the street, where the victim can be seen trying to defend himself with a stick. The suspect then picks up a brick and throws it at his face.

Police said the victim was treated for injuries to his nose.

The attack happened around 8 a.m. last Wednesday outside Kossars at Grand and Essex streets.

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One customer said she often sees the suspect hanging around.

“He sits there and from the chair he asks people to give him money. I was wondering about the owners and why they weren’t doing something about it,” Carrie Miller said.

The manager said the victim does maintenance at the store and was telling the panhandler to stop bothering customers when he was attacked.

“As someone who lives here, I feel like there is an escalation of these type of events across the city since the pandemic,” resident Nancy Crampton said.

“What would I do? Probably make a phone call, but you don’t see too many cops around, do you?” another person added.

The manager said NYPD responded right away, but the police said the search continues for the suspect.

Investigators said if you do spot him in the neighborhood, do not approach because he could be violent. Instead, call police immediately.

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Anyone with information about the attack is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-8477 or for Spanish, 1-888-577-4782. Tips can also be sent to the NYPDTips Twitter account or submitted online at NYPDCrimeStoppers.com.

Natalie Duddridge