2005-04-29 / Front Page

Sucker Punch Breaks Man’s Jaw

A middle-aged Rockaway Park man had his jawbone shattered and was knocked out cold last Saturday evening after he was sucker punched on the corner of Beach 116 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard, the man told The Wave.

Bruce Williams, 53, said he left The Beautiful Palm Garden Pub, where he watched the Mets game on TV, and was headed home along the boulevard when the violent attack occurred near Pickles and Pies.

“I was walking right up on the side[walk] and I heard a commotion. Next thing, I see stars,” said Williams, who spoke to The Wave this week using the telephone in his hospital room. “That was the last thing I remember. Next, I was inside an ambulance.”

Police responded, and EMS workers took Williams to Peninsula Hospital Center.

Williams said the attack happened so fast that he didn’t get a look at the person who hit him. Witnesses described the assailant as a light-skinned Hispanic teenager, police said.

The assault may have been the result of a dare or bet among a group of teens, who might have pegged Williams as an easy target, according to one police theory.

Williams was transferred to Long Island Jewish Medical Center this week and was awaiting surgery on Wednesday. His wife, who lives in South Carolina, came to New York to be at his side. Doctors said his mouth could be wired shut for up to four weeks following the operation, a prognosis that has Williams dismayed.

“Nobody wants to be wired down,” he said.

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