A New York City street vendor is hospitalized in critical condition after being beaten by a gang of five men earlier this week.
Souleymane Porgo, 53, from Burkina Faso in West Africa, received a fractured skull, broken jaw, and suffered bleeding in the brain during a beating that left him lying unconscious in front of the spot where he usually sells his wares in the Bronx.
News reports say that one of the men had attempted to steal a purse off of Porgo’s table. When Porgo stopped him, the man promised to return with his “friends,” who soon swarmed upon the vendor, knocking him to the ground and throwing vicious punches even after he was down.
Bystanders did nothing more than take a cellphone video, which was posted to Facebook.
Police have confirmed the identity of two of the men who beat Porgo as Enrique Foote, 18, and William Burgess, 21, but they have not been apprehended. The other three suspects have not yet been identified.
Porgo had to have part of his skull removed in surgery to lessen the pressure from swelling and internal bleeding in his brain, according to his wife. She and his daughter witnessed the assault and can be seen in the video.
According to a GoFundMe campaign, which has already raised more than $8,000 for the vendor and his family, Porgo is currently in a coma and has been given only a 50 percent chance of survival.
“I couldn’t do nothing to help him, my daughters were right there,” recalled Porgo’s wife. “I wanted to help, but at the same time I had the baby, so I couldn’t really do nothing.”
“Every day I would walk past, and he was very humble. Very humble guy,” said one neighbor. “It hurts me so bad that it was him. That’s terrible.”
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