INWOOD, Manhattan (WABC) --Two men making catcalls at a woman were attacked by the man she was with, leaving a homeless man in critical condition.
The men were sitting outside a supermarket on Sherman Avenue in Inwood at around 3:30 a.m. Thursday.
People who live in the area say the homeless routinely hang out along the strip, but they've never witnessed them haggling women.
Police say a catcall prompted a beat down that sent an elderly homeless man to the hospital where he's now fighting for his life.
They're still searching for the guy caught on camera delivering those vicious blows.
It was an uneven match from the start. It was captured on surveillance cameras early Thursday morning.
Police say a 69-year-old homeless man was sitting along W. 207th Street with another man, when he allegedly called out something to a young woman walking by, flaring the temper of her companion who unleashed a fury of blows.
"A lot of blood and cuts. I feel a little sad, because it's really old people," said a grocery store manager.
The grocery store manager didn't want Eyewitness News to show his face. He says the girl was part of a group that cameras captured before the confrontation.
He says the group seemed riled up before they even encountered the homeless man, and whatever exchange they had didn't warrant a beat down.
"If he said something bad, is it OK to defend a woman?" he said, "It's not OK, like let it go, like, and not have things personal you can pass by."
The victim was taken to Saint Barnabas Hospital where he remains in ICU in critical condition, as police continue to search for the man who put him there.
A 39-year-old man also was taken to the hospital with injures.
"I pass around here every day, every day, and I see them. They ask for coffee or for food and I feel sorry for them and I give them whatever you know," said Virginia Jimenez, a resident. "I don't like that because I'm an old person too, I'm a senior citizen."
"What if he thought he was defending her honor or he didn't like whatever the man may have said to this girl," a resident said. "Yeah, but that's not the way to actually solve the problem, I think speaking is easier than just start fighting and stuff."
People who live and work nearby say the homeless really don't bother anyone, and they're shocked how far things escalated over words.
"Oh my God, I hope he becomes well," a resident said.
The suspect and the woman then fled the scene.
The male suspect is described as about 18-20 years old, last seen wearing a white polo shirt, gray shorts and white high top Converse sneakers. The woman also about 18-20 years old, and was last seen in a gray silk dress and black sneakers.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to call 800-577-TIPS or for Spanish 1-888-57-PISTA (74782)