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Man assaulted in unprovoked attack in East Harlem: police

EAST HARLEM, Manhattan — A man was beaten in what witnesses say was an unprovoked attack as he stood on a corner in East Harlem Friday afternoon.

Police say the 68-year-old victim was standing at the corner of East 117th Street and Lexington Avenue around 3 p.m. when he was suddenly attacked by an unknown assailant.

“Some guy was walking, after him, or before him, punch him, or hit, and the guy fell back and hit his head,” eyewitness Carlos Fuente told PIX11 News.

The man, whose identity has not been released, fell to the sidewalk, hitting his head.

Fortunately, U.S. Army veteran Walter Velasquez just happened to walking by, and witnessed the attack.

He rushed to the victim’s side, and stayed with him until police arrived.

“I just observed an older person, and a younger to the right – tall. A little taller. And without a word being said, he just turned, I saw his leg, hit him in his chest, or his neck area," Velasquez said. "He just fell back, but hard. You could actually hear the thump, like thump. That was it. Honestly, I thought he was passed out. When I got there, he was basically passed out. And they asked me if he was breathing. He was breathing – yes."

Police are still looking for the attacker, who took off down Lexington Avenue.