Man attacked outside Midtown Starbucks

February 23, 2008 8:42:03 AM PST
A gunman dragged a man down a sidewalk, beating him with a pistol, after fighting over a black bag in front of a Starbucks cafe blocks from Central Park on Friday, police and witnesses said.The unidentified 50-year-old victim was hospitalized in stable condition after the attack, which happened just after 2 p.m. three blocks south of the park. Police said he may have been grazed by a bullet or pistol-whipped in the head; some witnesses said a gunman shot him in the street before fleeing.

But investigators believe the whole thing began at Chase Bank branch down the street. Right after Seton Ijam withdrew nearly $150,000, he walked out of the bank and headed west.

Witnesses say midway up the block, the suspect confronted him and grabed the bag with the cash.

Bystanders say they saw the two men fighting over the duffel bag in front of the cafe at 56th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues. The younger man then dragged the victim - who was clinging to the bag - down the street, beating him in the head with the gun, witnesses said.

Zafer Incekara, a limousine driver from Lyndhurst, N.J., said the gunman fired a shot at the man before he fled.

Another witness, Amado Delacruz, 34, of Bayonne, N.J., said he saw the attacker running away with the black bag after leaving the man in the street.

"You don't expect this. Not on 56th Street. Especially in front of Starbucks," Delacruz said.