Long Island road rage beating leaves 73-year-old hospitalized

MANORVILLE, Long Island (WABC) -- Police on Long Island are investigating an apparent road rage incident that left a 73-year-old man in the hospital.

It happened just before 11 p.m. Monday on Moriches-Middle Island Road in Manorville.

Authorities say John Blanco and his grandson Joe Blanco were looking at Christmas decorations and driving slowly when the person behind him became impatient and began tailgating while honking his horn.

"Just looking at Christmas lights, having a good time with my grandpa," Joe Blanco said. "There were these kids behind us, and I guess we just weren't driving fast enough to suit them."

The family says the driver pulled up next to the Blancos and began screaming and cursing, before the driver pulled in front of them and stopped.

Both that driver and Joe Blanco got out of their vehicles and began brawling in the street, and when John Blanco intervened, he was severely beaten.

"They started getting out and I got out, too, because I felt threatened, and then it turned into basically a street brawl," Joe Blanco said. "Distraught, honestly. So sad that this happened to him, and I wish that I could've done more."

He remains at Stony Brook University Hospital with brain and facial injuries.

John Blanco's wife, Eileen, said her husband recently battled cancer and just had heart surgery two weeks ago. She said he loves to go out this time of year and admire holiday lights to get ideas.

"Oh he goes all out, all out, the whole outside was always lit," she said. "But not this year. This year we'll get by...Now we're just hoping he can get out of the hospital before Christmas."

The suspect was apparently driving a gray Nissan Maxima with at least two passengers, and all of them may be teenagers.

So far, no arrests have been made.

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