NEW YORK – Knife-wielding muggers attacked a jogger running in Central Park to prepare for an Army physical fitness test, police and his family said.
"I'm in a lot of pain," Johnny Reberon, 23, said as he returned from a hospital Friday to his Manhattan home.
He was slashed in the arm and leg by two men who accosted him around 8:45 p.m. Thursday, police said.
His mugging was near the park road where a 28-year-old investment banker was found after being attacked while jogging on April 19, 1989. She became known worldwide as "the Central Park jogger."
Reberon's attackers took his wallet and iPod, police said. They were searching for suspects early Saturday.
"When he saw all the blood coming out, he thought he was going to bleed to death," said his mother, Carmen Zega. "I cried for hours."
She said her son called 911 on a cell phone he'd tucked in one of his socks, but he was in too much agony to talk to the operator. Two bicyclists stopped and helped him, Zega said.
Reberon works as a receptionist at a veterinary hospital, but he recently decided to join the Army, his mother said.
The victim of the 1989 attack was in a coma for 12 days before beginning her near-miraculous recovery. The jogger, Trisha Meili, disclosed her identity in 2003 and published her memoir.