72-Year-Old Punch Victim Fears Attacker Will Strike Again
WEST VILLAGE — The 72-year-old West Village punch victim just wanted to pick himself up, go home and listen to opera.
But he worries his attacker will strike again — and next time he might seriously hurt somebody.
Donald Lathrom was walking home after buying beer Monday when he was punched to the ground in an apparently random attack on Jane Street. But, despite suffering swelling of the brain, he only went to the hospital because paramedics insisted.
“I was up quickly,” Donald Lathrom told DNAinfo by phone from his hospital bed at Beth Israel hospital, where he’s being treated.
“I might have been a little dazed. I wanted to go home, but they told me to get myself checked out.”
Lathrom said he was returning from a nearby bodega after buying beer around 5:30 p.m. and was planning a quiet night in listening to a French opera.
“I was 50 feet from my home and, ‘Bam!’ he said. “That’s the last thing I know. One second I was walking down the street and, the next second, something smashed me to the ground. I didn’t see anything.”
Lathrom said a doorman at 99 Jane St. came rushing over and called 911.
Surveillance footage showed his attacker running away with another man. Police were still looking for the suspects on Wednesday.
Lathrom, a former cab driver, said he hopes to be out of the hospital soon.
“I wouldn’t call it toughness,” he said. “A lot of things you can’t control. We’ve all had instances where bad things happen to us. You just go on.
“I haven’t been harmed in any real significant way. I do think they’ll do it again, though. One way or another, someone’s going to get hurt.”