Police are looking for a suspect who walked up to a 23-year-old man on a Lower East Side street and punched him in the face early Thursday, knocking him unconscious and breaking his jaw.
The victim says he's "frightened and frustrated" after the random attack, and is hoping the suspect is found before anyone is hurt again.
Authorities say the suspect sneaked up behind the victim, Kyle Rogers, near the Bowery Mission and hit him with a closed fist before running off. Rogers, who says he had just left a bar, passed out and woke up in the ambulance with a broken jaw.
"The last thing I remember is putting my jacket on, saying goodbye to my friends and then after that, waking up in the ambulance," he told NBC 4 New York.
Rogers, from Rockville Centre, had his mouth wired shut at the hospital. He also had cuts to his eyebrows and chin from the fall.
It took some research on his family's part to locate the surveillance video of the attack that has been distributed by police. Rogers' twin brother looked up the location where the EMTs found him on Google Maps and noticed some security cameras on nearby buildings.
Rogers' father canvassed the area, and the director of the Bowery Mission allowed him to look at the center's surveillance video. When he located the moment of the attack, said Michael Rogers, "my heart skipped and I almost fell to the ground."
"It's an act of cowardly violence, and it should not happen," he said. "We're so angry at what happened, and we're afraid it might happen to other people."
He turned over the video to detectives at the Fifth Precinct station.
Kyle Rogers, who's expected to heal in six weeks, said he felt mostly frustrated by the randomness of the attack and wasn't sure he could have done anything to prevent it.
"It's not like I did something," he said. "Maybe I could have been walking with someone instead of walking alone. But you're not always going to have someone with you, over your shoulder."