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Caught On Video: Man Burned With Unknown Liquid In Random Attack In Midtown

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Police are searching for a suspect seen throwing a liquid substance on a man in Midtown and then running off.

The victim had to be treated for burns.

As CBS2's Jenna DeAngelis reported, it was another awful attack in the city. It happened at the corner of West 47th Street and Sixth Avenue. Police say it was unprovoked.

Video shows the shirtless suspect creep up behind a man wearing all black and throw some sort of liquid on him. The victim, 57, turns around, stumbles and falls to the ground, hitting his head.

The suspect doesn't even look back.

"It's horrible. It's a horrible incident. You never want to see something like that go on," said Zack Williams, who works in Midtown.

Others DeAngelis spoke to who work nearby were also horrified.

"Sad. Crazy out there, like, how people just do these kind of things," said Rion Coerington, who also works in the area.

Police said no words were exchanged prior to or during the assault. It happened on July 5 at around 10 p.m.

The next day, the victim took himself to New York Presbyterian Medical Center where he was treated for second-degree burns on his back.

"It's kind of scary that NYC, that anyone can randomly come up and hit you and get away with it. It's really frightening and scary sometimes," said Lower East Side resident Rafael Gomez.

"Do you worry about your own safety?" DeAngelis asked.

"Absolutely, and I grew up in NYC," he said.

As DeAngelis showed the video to Gomez, he immediately thought of his mom and sister and their safety, sending a message to the suspect.

"You have to have family members that you really care about, or there has to be one person in your life that you really love. Would you really like or encourage someone to run up to one of those members that you love so dearly and just slap them on the head or bop them on the head?" he said.

Police say the suspect is a man with a light complexion, brown hair, brown eyes, about 5-foot-7 and 130 pounds. He was last seen wearing black shorts and no shirt.

According to the NYPD, assaults are up 27% in the Midtown North Precinct from last year, but, overall, crime in the area is down.

Anyone with information about his attacker is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip via their website or on Twitter, @NYPDTips. All calls are kept confidential.

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