An off-duty New York Police Department detective who was sucker punched on a New York subway platform by a man who witnesses say was having a heated argument with his cousin. The detective, Adrian Delfaus, was critically injured by the blow and was put into a medically induced coma, from which he gradually woke last Sunday.
The 29-year-old NYPD veteran was listed in critical condition when he arrived at Bellevue Hospital but had his condition upgrades to stable upon coming out of the coma. The hospital reported that the detective had bleeding on the brain that resulted from severe head trauma.
The man who punched Delfaus has not been identified and is still at large. NYPD officers and detectives are conducting an active and ongoing search for the man based on eyewitness descriptions taken at the scene of the assault. The reports also state that the detective and his male cousin were waiting for a subway train when a panhandler approached the cousin. There was a brief exchange between the three men after which Delfaus and his cousin moved to a different area of the platform. A fourth man, apparently angered by what the cousin had said to the panhandler, approached the two men and an argument between them ensued.
When the detective tried to break up the argument, the unidentified man punched him hard in the face as Delfaus looked away for a moment. Delfaus was rendered unconscious and the suspect fled with two unidentified women.
Delfaus had received a promotion to detective in late summer of 2013. Detectives’ Endowment Association president Michael Palladino said in a statement that the only things that matter at this point are Delfaus “getting better and us finding the suspect.” He went on to say, “I highly recommend he turn himself in.”
Witnesses described the suspect as an African-American male in his early 40s standing about 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing approximately 200 pounds.