A man collecting bottles was beaten nearly to death at a Harlem intersection known for its drug use and dealing, cops and a witness said Friday.
Around 9 p.m. the man — whose identity was not released — was collecting bottles near the northeast corner of Third Ave. and E. 125th St. when he was attacked by a Black man near a structure surrounded by scaffolding, said a witness.
“He was minding his business with his shopping cart,” said Armetha Knight, 37.
“When he got to the scaffolding, an African American man attacked him from behind,” said Knight.
“He hit him from behind and then curb-stomped him.”
The suspect than ran off west on 125th St. toward Lexington Ave.
The victim, who is believed to be Asian, was taken to Harlem Hospital, said a law enforcement source. He was reported in very critical condition.
Police were investigating the possibility that the man was the victim of a hate crime, said a law enforcement source. “We haven’t been able to talk to him. He’s unconscious,” the source said.
“I’ve seen everything around here,” said Knight as she looked around the crime scene.