Vicious hammer attack leaves Manhattan store manager with serious head injury

CHELSEA, Manhattan (WABC) -- The victim of a brutal attack in Chelsea recounts the harrowing moments when a homeless man grabbed a hammer and bashed him in the head.

One vicious swing of a hammer carved a deep gash in Ramon Acevedo's head.

For nearly half a century, the 64-year-old supermarket manager has worked for Gristedes.

On Thursday morning, as Acevedo opened the store at 25th Street and 9th Avenue in Chelsea, he saw someone he knew all too well, seemingly waiting for him.

"He was just standing there looking hard, so that's what I said, I said let me just take a picture of this guy, this guy looks like he's ready to do something, and he was," Acevedo said.

Police are now reviewing surveillance video showing how, with no provocation, the man picked up a hammer and attacked.

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Acevedo says the man is a regular problem at his store and he's been arrested a number of times, including for assaulting a cashier.

Through the pandemic, people like Acevedo have carried the city on their backs.

He's worked six days a week to keep New Yorkers stocked. Surely he didn't deserve this.

"You know, I don't expect to go to work and come across this kind of a situation," Acevedo said. "Especially when I have alerted the authorities. I should be able to go to work and do what I'm asked to do, and be safe."

Acevedo says New York City in 2020 reminds him of the '70s and '80s, which he lived through. He intends to live through this also.

Because the suspect has been arrested at least twice here before, police know who he is and they are looking for him Thursday night.

All Acevedo wants is to come back to work.

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