A 53-year-old street vendor is fighting for his life after a group of men beat him up at his own stand in the Bronx, knocking him to the ground unconscious, the NYPD says.
On Tuesday, one of the suspects tried to steal a purse from the vendor, identified by relatives as Souleymane Porgo, in Mott Haven, but the man was able to fend off the suspect, police said. He then ran away.
At around 5 p.m., the same suspect returned with four of his friends, authorities said. They all walked up to Porgo, who was with his wife and children, and punched him in the face several times, police said.
As Porgo fell to the ground, knocked out, the group of men continued to punch him in the head and face, authorities say.
Jose Soto, who saw the brutal attack, said Porgo didn't stand a chance.
"Even before he hit the floor, the guy was unconscious," he said.
Ultimately, the man's skull was fractured by the persistent blows.
The attackers, all in their 20s, fled southbound on Third Avenue, officials said.
Progo was taken to Lincoln Hospital, where he is listed in critical condition. He also suffered bleeding in the brain, police said.
Family members say Porgo's wife and children witnessed the entire attack. He's had two operations but is still in a coma.
People who knew Porgo, who is originally from Burkina Faso, say he was a nice person.
"Every day I would walk past, and he was very humble. Very humble guy," said Gisela Machuca of Mott Haven. "It hurts me so bad that it was him. That's terrible."
Authorities released surveillance footage from the scene. The video shows several men brutally attack the street vendor in broad daylight with onlookers close by. Anyone with information about the attack is asked to call police.