UNIONPORT, the Bronx (PIX11) — An off-duty NYPD officer was beaten in the Bronx on Tuesday; he was wounded so badly that he was placed into a medically induced coma, police said.

The officer was jogging on Olmstead Avenue in the morning when he was attacked, officials said. Before collapsing on the street, he flagged down a traffic agent, who called 911. The officer told the traffic agent his name, but he didn’t say that he was an officer. Police initially said the officer had been headed to work when he was attacked.

The officer was rushed to a hospital. He was in critical condition with bleeding to the brain.

Police at the officer’s precinct became concerned when he didn’t show up for work. While he was being treated, they launched a search, not aware that the officer was at the hospital. First, police from his precinct looked for him. Then officials at NYPD headquarters were notified and a larger search began. Later, officials connected the dots between the Bronx assault and the missing officer.

Detectives have begun canvassing the area around the assault, searching for surveillance video. No arrests have been made. Police sources said they’re looking for three suspects. The suspects took the officer’s keys, wallet and identification, police said.

Pat Lynch, president of a union representing police, pledged the “cowards” who attacked the officer would be caught.

“While we pray at our injured brother’s bedside tonight, police officers across this city are searching for the cowards who did this to him,” Lynch said. “Make no mistake: we will find them. But we will need the rest of the justice system to step up and do its job, too. This is what happens when our leaders refuse to hold criminals accountable — not even a police officer can walk these streets safely.”

Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).