Police say the man in the surveillance video ran up behind Elmar Garscha and doused him in scalding liquid.
It happened on 47th Street and 6th Avenue last week as Garscha was walking home from work. He's worked as a jeweler in the Diamond District for two decades.
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 sent 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."
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).
ALSO TRENDING | Some Aveeno, Neutrogena sunscreens recalled due to benzene traces
* 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