NBC New York
Police in Staten Island are searching for a group of suspects who severely beat a man and stole his cell phone. The victim spoke of the traumatizing experience to NBC 4 New York. Pei-Sze Cheng reports.
Police are searching for four teens wanted in connection with a robbery and assault on Staten Island earlier this month.
On the evening of Jan. 13, the four teens, all males, believed to be between the ages of 15 and 18 years old, approached a 53-year-old man on Westervelt Avenue in St. George, physically assaulted him, and fled with his cell phone.
The victim, Marcos Gonzalez, recounted the brutal attack to NBC 4 New York through a translator Tuesday. He said he'd left his laundromat to make a call on his iPhone when the group of teens approached him. Gonzalez said they asked him a question in English, and when he answered in Spanish, they pounced on him.
They punched him repeatedly in the face and the mouth, then kicked him all over his body repeatedly, Gonzalez said. They grabbed his phone before getting away.
Surveillance video captured the vicious attack.
Gonzalez is still recovering from the shock of the beating, which he says has changed how he and his family view their neighborhood.
"I'm too scared to walk from my house to work anymore," Gonzalez said in Spanish through an interpreter. "Now I have to drive with my son to feel safe."
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477), or submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers' website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to CRIMES (274637) and then entering TIP577.