Man suffers burns in random liquid attack on Manhattan sidewalk

MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- A man suffered second-degree burns after being doused in an unknown liquid in a random attack in Midtown Manhattan.

It happened around 10 p.m. on Monday, July 5, near the southwest corner of West 47th Street and Sixth Avenue.

Police say the 57-year-old victim, a jeweler who has worked in the Diamond District for two decades, was walking along the sidewalk on his way home from work when he was approached by an unknown individual from behind.

MORE NEWS: Videos of flooded subway stations spark infrastructure concerns
EMBED More News Videos

The scene that played out during severe weather Thursday, with people wading through waist-deep water, is alarming and dangerous.

Elmar Garscha said he felt the shirtless man following him, so he stopped to rest his bad hip.

"I realized there was a guy following me, and he was maybe 10 feet behind me and rushing towards me," he said. "Maybe five seconds later, the guy hit me with the water."

The individual, in an unprovoked attack, threw a scalding liquid on Garscha before fleeing the scene on foot in an unknown direction.

There were no words exchanged prior to or during the assault, which send Garscha falling to the ground.

"The injuries are extensive, and it doesn't look that big of a cup," he said. "He burnt my entire back with second-degree burns, all over my shoulders."

Garscha took himself to Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center the next day, where he was treated.

The assailant is described as an adult male with a light complexion, approximately 5-foot-7 and 130 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. Garscha said he laughed as he ran away.

"The physical pain I can deal with, it's the fact that you know someone's out there to get you," he said. "Somebody wants to hurt you on purpose. The guy laughed in my face and ran away. He smiled at me, like, 'Gotcha.' That's what really got to me."

ALSO READ | Missing New Jersey mother found dead in Tennessee, family says
EMBED More News Videos

The family of Yasemin Uyar says her body was found in Tennessee, days after she and her son went missing.

The man is believed to be homeless.

"I'm not going to let that ruin my day," Garscha said. "It could be worse."

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).

* Get Eyewitness News Delivered
* More Manhattan news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
* Follow us on YouTube
Submit a News Tip
Copyright © 2021 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.