At least one of two serious assaults by a skateboard-wielding attacker in City Heights on Tuesday afternoon was caught on security camera.
Two men were sent to intensive care units after being assaulted by a homeless man with a skateboard. Both victims were punched in the head for 15 minutes and only three blocks apart. Witnesses told NBC 7 that the attacker in both incidents looked similar.
The two victims are now hospitalized with cerebral hemorrhages, according to the authorities.
Residents and businesses around University and Fairmount avenues are used to the sidewalk skateboard traffic, but using a skateboard for a midday ambush is a first.
“It’s really sad because he’s a good person,” Giselle Dente said of her friend Jesus Estrada, who was injured in the second attack, near the intersection of Univerity Avenue and 44th street. “He doesn’t hurt anyone.
Police were called shortly after 1 p.m. after Estrada was knocked unconscious by a man who hit him on the head with a skateboard. The attack was recorded by a security camera in a nearby market.
The second victim was being treated for a similar head injury. Witnesses told NBC7 he was beaten by a man with a skateboard of the same description on Fairmount Avenue near Polk Avenue.
It appears from the video – and witnesses have verified – that the attack on Estrada was not provoked. The suspect can be seen in the video approaching Estrada from behind, then swinging the skateboard at Estrada’s head
“It’s heartbreaking for everyone because you don’t want to see a sibling on the street living like that,” Dente said.
Police identified the assailant as passing through. Surprisingly, he was arrested in connection with Tuesday’s assaults when he returned to the scene in Fairmount while police investigated.
Police told NBC 7 on Tuesday that the man was recently released from prison after being charged with another assault. In this attack, the victim was hit with a pole and was also hospitalized.