The recent Hurricane Sandy that struck the East Coast had a major impact on New York City. For most people, just trying to get out of the storm as quickly as possible proved challenging. For one man, however, luck turned for the worse when he was jumped by several assailants in the rainy weather.
According to a report by The New York Daily News, 21-year-old Jeremy Furchtgott of Crown Heights was blindsided by multiple thugs on his way home during the hurricane. Several surveillance cameras caught the incident on tape, which shows one man tripping Furchtgott to the ground while several others began bombarding him with punches and kicks, eventually stealing his iPhone and his wallet with $40.
"It was the last thing I was expecting," the Princeton University graduate Furchtgott said, according to The New York Daily News. "I found myself on the ground and first thought that I tripped over a branch. Until I heard someone yell, 'Give me your phone! Give me your wallet.'"
Furchtgott recalled one assailant yelling at him to count to 100 before getting up, which was how Sruly Halon, another local resident, found Furchtgott on a walk home from a Talmud study session nearby. Although Furchtgott suffered several bruises and cuts from the beating he initially didn't remember happening, he declined hospital care, the news source said.
"At first I didn’t know why he was lying there," Halon said. "I wasn't sure if something happened to him physically. Maybe a tree hit him."
City Councilman David Greenfield noted the attack was ruthless and has since offered a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the criminals responsible for the beating, New York Daily News reported.
"It's shocking. What kind of sick people would attack an individual who is trying to get home during a hurricane?" Greenfield said.
A separate report by the FBI noted that there were more than 51,000 violent crimes reported to local law enforcement agencies in New York City in 2011, with nearly 30,000 involving aggravated assault.
While the crime rates continue to drop, installing video surveillance cameras in public areas won't hurt, as the tools may help local authorities identify and locate criminals – even those that attack during natural disasters.