New York City police were searching Sunday for a man who punched an off-duty NYPD detective in the face on a Manhattan subway platform Saturday evening and left him with injuries so severe that he was placed in a medically induced coma.
The suspect -- described as in his early 40s, about 5 feet, 9 inches tall and 200 pounds and wearing a white T-shirt and jeans -- hit the 29-year-old detective during an altercation shortly before 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the No. 6 train platform at the 23rd Street-Park Avenue station in the Flatiron District, an NYPD spokeswoman said.
A police source said the person being sought is believed to be a homeless man. He was still on the loose, said the official. After the altercation, the man quickly fled with two women, police said.
The detective, whose name has not been released, fell and struck his head on the train platform after being punched, the spokeswoman said. The officer, who has been with NYPD for six years, is in Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan, the spokeswoman said.
He was put into the medically induced coma with bleeding in the brain, police said.
Police do not yet know what led to the altercation.
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McClatchy-Tribune News Service