Tourist from Arkansas attacked, skull fractured for not buying Statue of Liberty tickets

Sandra Bookman Image
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Tourist attacked, skull fractured for not buying Statue of Liberty tickets
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Sandra Bookman is live in Lower Manhattan with the latest details. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

BATTERY PARK, Manhattan (WABC) -- A tourist from Arkansas was punched in the face at the Staten Island Ferry terminal, knocking him unconscious.

The 33-year-old man was with his family when he was attacked at the terminal near Battery Park at around 3:30 p.m. Monday afternoon, officials said.

The victim, a tourist, was first approached by a woman selling tickets to the Statue of Liberty. When the tourist declined to purchase the tickets, a man approached and punched him in the face, knocking him unconscious.

The two suspects fled the scene, but were reportedly captured by surveillance cameras.

Eyewitness News viewer Kenny Pragl captured a photo of the situation moments after it happened:

The tourist had a fractured skull and was taken to Bellevue Hospital in stable condition.

Investigators believe they know who they are looking for, and the mayor promises the incident is being taken seriously.

"If there is something aimed at tourists or aimed at the Staten Island Ferry, we will get at it very, very aggressively," said the mayor. "We obviously appreciate people that come to visit us. We had the highest number of tourist we've every had last year, 58 million plus, and we want to keep it that way."

The NYPD is aware of people selling fake Statue of Liberty tickets. They are investigating whether the puncher is a 25-year-old man who is known to harass people at the ferry terminal for fake tickets.