South Korean diplomat punched in face in 'unprovoked' attack in NYC, police say

Police told ABC News that "the incident was unprovoked."

February 11, 2022, 1:40 AM

A South Korean diplomat was punched in the face in New York City on Wednesday night during what police described as an "unprovoked" attack.

Officers responded to a 911 call about an assault in the area of Fifth Avenue and West 35th Street in Midtown Manhattan at around 8:10 p.m. ET. Upon arrival, they found a 52-year-old man suffering from pain and swelling to his face. The victim was a diplomat from South Korea, according to the New York City Police Department.

After further investigation, the officers learned that an unknown man had approached the victim at the location and punched him in the face before fleeing on foot toward Sixth Avenue. Police told ABC News in a statement Thursday that "the incident was unprovoked."

The victim was transported via ambulance in stable condition to NYU Langone Hospital in Brooklyn for complaints of pain, police said. The investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been made, according to police.

A description of the suspect has not been released.

New York City ABC station WABC-TV reported that the incident is not currently being investigated as a hate crime.

Hyun-seung Choi, consul and press attache for the South Korean Consulate General in New York City, confirmed the assault of a diplomat from South Korea's permanent mission to the United Nations but did not name the victim.

"Currently, the individual is recovering after being discharged from the hospital," Choi told ABC News in a statement Friday. "We are outraged by this senseless and deplorable violence and look forward to a swift resolution of this unfortunate incident. To that end, the Consulate General is closely cooperating with the New York Police Department (NYPD). The department has assured that the investigation of the incident is being carried out in a prompt and thorough manner."

Meanwhile, the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs will urge New York City police to conduct a quick and thorough investigation, a representative told reporters during an on-background briefing Friday.

ABC News' Joohee Cho contributed to this report.

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