New York City police were on the hunt for a suspect seen on video brutally pummeling and robbing a 67-year-old man inside an elevator Friday -- and wiping his fingerprints after he appeared to push the button for the older man’s floor.
"It was so fast," the older man, who identified himself as a veteran, said of the attack as he held his arm in a cast. "He hit me in the face so many times... I have a messed-up arm, I couldn't fight back.”
The attacker, who tried to hide his face in a hooded sweatshirt, got onto the elevator with the man around 11 p.m. in the lobby of the Bronx apartment building, police said.
The suspect pressed a button for the 67-year-old, who appeared to have a cast on his arm, and rode up to his floor, video showed. When the doors opened and the older man tried to exit, the suspect was seen walloping him with a sucker punch in the face. The man fell to the ground while the suspect continued to pummel him, the video showed.
While the man was on the ground, the suspect was seen holding the door open with his hand. He then slowly backed out of the elevator, using his sleeve to wipe down his fingerprints. He didn’t appear to wipe the button he pushed for the man.
The 67-year-old, whom WPIX-TV later identified as Ray Diaz, was taken to James J. Peters VA Medical Center with cuts to his face.
He told WNBC-TV he was a veteran and lived in the building with his elderly mother.
The suspect escaped in a dark-colored minivan, the station reported. He was last seen wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans and fur-lined boots.
Anyone with information on this incident was asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline. Police said all tips would remain confidential.