First on 7: Victim of violent Bronx elevator attack speaks out

BELMONT, Bronx (WABC) -- The victim of a violent attack inside a Bronx elevator is sharing his story first on Eyewitness News.

The assault was caught on camera, but the man responsible remains on the run.

When 67-year-old Ray Diaz returned to his building lobby in the area of Southern Boulevard in Belmont on Friday night, someone followed him from behind.

"I went downstairs to get a cigarette because I ran out of cigarettes - it was around 11-11:30," he said, "I saw somebody hold the door but I didn't think nothing of it. And I just walked in the elevator."

That man, with a hoodie over his head, asked the victim what floor he was on - and then out of nowhere came the hard blow.

"Somebody knocked me down, I couldn't get up from the floor," Diaz said. "He wouldn't let me get up from the floor. He kept kicking me and kicking me in my face. Only in my face."

The attack was so brutal it left him with severe bruises and cuts to the face and arm.

There is security in the building's lobby, and Diaz said it just so happened that the guard had stepped outside during the moments before the attack.

"Strange people come inside the building, and the security guard is not there to be aware," he said.

The assault only lasted seconds - the suspect even wiped the elevator clean, likely for evidence, before taking off with nothing.

"If somebody is in there that don't look right, that I don't know, I'm not going in there with him," the victim's mother, Angie Fernandez, said.

Diaz, a military veteran, is now recovering at home.

The attacker was last seen leaving in a minivan. He was wearing a black du-rag, gray hoodie, blue jeans, and black fur-lined boots.

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