A gang of ghoulish bullies broke into a bizarre Halloween dance in front of a television director on his way to work, then pummeled the senior when he tried to walk around them, police said.
John Sullivan, 72, had just gotten off the train at Sixth Ave. near W. 43rd St. about 2:20 a.m. Monday and was heading to 30 Rockefeller Center when nine people in their early 20s suddenly blocked his path.
“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, a technical director for Plaza Productions, an NBCUniversal affiliate, told the Daily News.
The group made “boo” noises as if they were ghosts, Sullivan recalled.
“The first guy shoved me. Then they just started punching,” the New Jersey native told The News. “It went in for about 30 seconds. I didn’t go down. I fought back.”
Sullivan, who decades ago served in the Army Special Forces, tried to block their blows with his briefcase, “but they hit me pretty good,” he said.
“I’m like, ‘What are you doing? What’s going on here?’ and they didn’t even answer,” he said.
The malevolent mob eventually ran off. When medics arrived, Sullivan declined a trip to the hospital, settling instead for an ice pack for his bruised face.
The 53-year NBC veteran, who’s worked on shows like “The Tonight Show,” “NBC Nightly News,” and “Saturday Night Live,” then continued to start his 4 a.m. shift.
“They struck my head. I’ve got black eyes, I look like Zorro, like with the mask,” Sullivan said. “They didn’t rob me. I didn’t get stabbed. Luckily, I didn’t lose any teeth or break any bones.”
It was the first time the TV director had been mugged in his five decades of commuting to Manhattan.
“In 53 years, nothing,” Sullivan said. “Maybe I’ll be lucky for another 53 years.”
Cops on Tuesday released surveillance images and a video of some of the suspects.
Police say they are looking for seven men and two women. Anyone with information is urged to call NYPD Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.