Crime and Courts
Chief investigative reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.
Jennifer Vazquez

Police: Man Beaten Into Coma by Stranger on NYC Street as Woman Watched Dies Months After Attack

Police have now classified the incident as a homicide

What to Know

  • A 52-year-old man who was beaten into a coma on a city sidewalk in March has succumbed to his injuries, police announced Thursday
  • The NYPD identified the victim as James Smith of the Bronx; Smith passed away Monday, according to police
  • Police have now classified the incident as a homicide; Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS

A 52-year-old man who was beaten into a coma on a city sidewalk in March has succumbed to his injuries, prompting authorities to classify the incident as a homicide, police announced Thursday.

The NYPD identified the victim as James Smith of the Bronx. Smith passed away Monday, according to police.

Smith was walking near Park Avenue and East 140th Street in the Bronx around 1:15 a.m. Sunday, March 24 when a stranger punched him in the face, knocking him down to the pavement. As he was on the ground, the attacker punched and kicked him repeatedly until he blacked out, police say.

Smith suffered a fractured skull and was taken to Lincoln Hospital in a coma and in critical condition.

Police released surveillance footage of part of the attack. It shows a man suddenly accosted on the street, flailing his arms as he tries to fight off the stranger before he falls to the ground. It also shows a woman police say acted as a lookout.

Police have now classified the incident as a homicide following Smith's passing. There have been no arrests in connection to this incident and the investigation remains ongoing.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS or for Spanish 1-888-57-PISTA. Tips can also be submitted via www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.

Contact Us