A brutal 3 a.m. beating sent a 29-year-old doctor to the hospital where he underwent emergency surgery to fix a broken jaw.
Detectives in New York City want to know if the seemingly random attack Saturday morning was motivated by hate.
"He called me a ------- and then half a block later, he came from behind and kicked and punched me multiple times," Sina Rezaie said from his hospital bed late Saturday.
Rezaie said he was walking home from the subway in Greenwich Village when a man yelled an anti-gay slur. Moments later the suspect came up from behind Rezaie and violently attacked him, leaving the 29-year-old with a broken jaw in two places.
After falling to the ground, witnesses say Rezaie stumbled to a nearby bar to get help. Laurie Beck and Richard Delay were working at the time, they're both friends of Rezaie, and did all they could to help as they waited for police.
"I just kind of saw our friend walking outside kind of erratically and I called [Delay's] attention 'go see what's going on with our neighbor, it looks like he's distressed.' [Daley] went outside to check it out, then he starts waving to me so I grabbed a bottle of water and some paper towels and ran outside," Beck said.
"I saw him holding his mouth, blood running out from face. He said that he had gotten attacked by some guy who said something to him as he came off the train. Apparently the guy called him a slur and then threw him to the ground, and started kicking him repeatedly," Delay said.
Rezaie was taken to a hospital where he underwent emergency surgery that's left his jaw banded shut with screws and metal plates. He says he's always felt safe in the neighborhood before but is left wondering why he was the target of the violent assault apparently motivated by hate.
There are security cameras all throughout the neighborhood but so far police have not caught the suspect.
Rezaie's recovery will be a long one. The doctor says his mouth will have to be shut for about a month.
"I don't know why this happened to me," he said.