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Search On For Hammer-Wielding Assailant Who Attacked 2 In Harlem

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Police in Upper Manhattan on Monday were looking for a man who attacked not one, but two pedestrians, with a hammer to the head.

As CBS 2's John Slattery reported, the attacker was with a group of other young people.

Blood was being washed down at the entrance to the Martin Luther King Jr. Houses on Fifth Avenue in Harlem, where both attacks took place.

"It's unbelievable," said neighbor Willie Herrera, "a shame, a real shame."

The attacks happened just above the northeast corner of Central Park, on Fifth Avenue at 113th Street, just after 12:30 a.m. Monday.

A 24-year-old resident of the houses, Daniel Legette, had just left his building when he was hit from behind with a hammer. He ran west, and was discovered shirtless and intoxicated a block away.

A police source said a couple of minutes later, a second victim -- Timmy Sampson, 31 -- was attacked in about the same spot. He said the assailants were a gang of five or six young men who came up from behind -- and one had a hammer.

The second victim got into a cab and went to Mt. Sinai Hospital, authorities said. Both men were in serious condition.

"Two victims, two victims," a neighbor said. "Hope they're OK."

"In think it's a tragedy," said another neighbor. "It's New York. A lot of crazy things happen."

A police source said the half-dozen attackers were all wearing white T-shirts. Police on Monday were trying to come up with surveillance video.

"For you to tell me a guy hit in the head, it's puzzling, because this area is very quiet," said neighbor Junior Phillips. "With a hammer? That's crazy."

Many nearby residents on Monday were thinking perhaps going out early in the morning was not a wise idea until the hammer-wielding assailant caught.

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