HORROR:In this image taken from security camera footage, an attacker is seen brutally smashing Chelsea radio host Pelagio De La Cruz, inset, with a bat on Sunday in New York City, where he was visiting his children.
A Chelsea radio host visiting his children in New York was repeatedly smashed in the head with a baseball bat and left unconscious by a gang of thugs who robbed him after he stepped out for a late-night snack, police and the man's co-host said.
Pelagio De La Cruz, 52, of Lynn has recovered somewhat since he was found bleeding on the pavement Sunday outside his estranged wife's apartment building in the Bronx, said Rosa Zullo, who co-hosts the daily morning show on WESX-AM, Connecion Espania, a roundup of local news with commentary. She said that doctors initially feared he could lose an eye, which was damaged in the attack.
"He opened his eye, which he couldn't do before," Zullo said. "He tried to stand up. But he doesn't talk. He's looking around like he's recognizing people. Since Monday when we went to see him he's looking much better. He's coming along very slowly."
In an effort to catch the men responsible, New York Police released a video tape of the assault that depicts in graphic detail the horror of the attack. In it, a man wielding a bat brings it in full swing, from over his head down on De La Cruz. The blow appears to glance off of him.
He then repeatedly swings at De La Cruz, up to seven times, until another man runs up and the two appear to rummage through De La Cruz's pockets.
"It's terrible," said Charlie Rodrigues, station manager of WESX. "They want to kill him."
He said De La Cruz's show is a popular morning fixture, particularly in Lawrence, which has the highest population of immigrants from the Dominican Republic outside of New York City. De La Cruz, who is originally from Santo Domingo, started the show with his two co-hosts in November. But Zullo said he was going to New York to visit his three children nearly every weekend.
The children are all in their late teens or early 20s. De La Cruz was reportedly staying at the home of his estranged wife on Davidson Avenue in the Bronx when the attack happened.