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Army Special Forces vet, NBC producer attacked by mob in NYC

New York City Police Department (NYPD) patrol car. (Pxhere/Released)
October 17, 2019

John Sullivan, a former U.S. Special Forces Soldier turned technical director for an NBC affiliate, took a beating on Monday on the streets of New York City.

Sullivan, 72, had just gotten off the train to work at the 30 Rockefeller Center around 2 a.m. Monday morning when he said a group of several men blocked his path, according to New York Daily News. What reportedly began as jeering harassment quickly turned into a brutal beating, leaving Sullivan’s face battered and bruised.

“They were circling around me, and they were pointing their fingers in my face. They’re dancing, and all of a sudden they’re punching me. They beat the crap out of me,” Sullivan told New York Daily News.

Sullivan said they made “boo” noises as if they were ghosts. He said the group of attackers appeared to be in their early 20s.

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Police released surveillance images and videos of the attack on Tuesday.

Police are reportedly looking for seven men and two women believed to be involved in Sullivan’s attack.

“The first guy shoved me, then they just started punching,” Sullivan said. “It went in for about 30 seconds. I didn’t go down. I fought back.”

Sullivan reportedly served in the Special Forces decades ago, before becoming a 53-year NBC employee.

Sullivan was a Vietnam War vet, according to the New York Post.

He said he used his briefcase to block some of the blows, “But they hit me pretty good.”

In his self-assessment, Sullivan said “They struck my head. I’ve got black eyes, I look like Zorro, like with the mask, they didn’t rob me. I didn’t get stabbed. Luckily, I didn’t lose any teeth or break any bones.”

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After medics arrived, Sullivan declined to go to the hospital, instead accepting an ice pack for his bruises.

It was the first time Sullivan says he has been attacked during his numerous Manhattan commutes over the span of his career.

“In 53 years, nothing,” he said. “Maybe I’ll be lucky for another 53 years.”

It remains unclear why the group attacked Sullivan, but the 72-year-old remains in good spirits despite the mugging.

Plaza Productions, an NBC affiliate, had a doctor give Sullivan a further assessment of his injuries before sending him home for the remainder of the week.

Sullivan has worked on “Saturday Night Live” and “The Tonight Show.”