66-year-old man knocked unconscious inside Bronx bodega

BRONX, New York City (WABC) -- Police are searching for a man behind a brutal bodega assault in the Bronx, and they're hoping surveillance video will lead to an arrest.

The incident happened just after 4:30 a.m. on New Year's Day at a deli on Courtlandt Avenue.

Authorities say 66-year-old Rafael Vargas became involved in a verbal dispute with the suspect that escalated into a physical confrontation.

The man followed Vargas into the deli, pushed him to the ground and began to punch him in the face and head.

The victim lost consciousness, and the suspect fled in an unknown direction.

EMS transported the victim in serious but stable condition to Lincoln Hospital, where he was treated for multiple facial and skull fractures and bleeding on the brain.

It's still not clear what caused the dispute.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his 20s and was last seen wearing all dark clothing.

Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).

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