TIMES SQUARE — A Bushwick artist was attacked by a man who hit him with a partially eaten chocolate bar, shoving it so hard in his face that he suffered cuts on his lips, according to the police and the victim.
Ian Sklarsky, 33, was peacefully waiting for the Q train at the 42nd Street station when Eliexer Reyes, who was carrying a pink, rolling carry-on bag and eating a chocolate bar, walked near him and mumbled something, according to the artist and the police.
"I didn't hear what he said, so I said something like, 'What?' or something like that. And then it happened really fast — he just shoved [the chocolate bar] to my face, like, 'Take that,'" Sklarsky said.
He said he doesn't remember if the chocolate bar was a Snickers bar or a Milky Way.
The artist tried to warn the other commuters on the platform as Reyes walked away, he said.
"This guy just punched me in the face with a chocolate bar, he punched me, be careful," Sklarsky said she shouted after he got hit.
Reyes then came back to him and punched him in the face again eight times, but this time with closed fists, leaving the 33-year-old with bruising on his nose and pain in the left eye, police said.
Sklarsky said he never returned the punches but tried to hold Reyes on the ground, hoping the police would arrive soon.
“I don’t fight. My eyes, my face and my hands are things that I can’t damage,” said the New York native, who specializes in "blind paintings,” or drawing using one line only and never looking down at the canvas.
Reyes, 35, fled the subway platform and was arrested that same night, police and Sklarsky said.
He was charged with misdemeanor assault and disorderly conduct, officials said. A spokeswoman for the NYPD said Reyes had multiple prior arrests for criminal mischief, assault and turnstile jumping.
"I’m so happy that he didn’t have a knife or a gun. What happened is crazy. I guess I was just at the wrong place at the wrong time," Sklarsky said, adding despite the assault, he still "loved the city."
The attack was first reported by Gothamist.