Tourist, 17, slugged in random NYC attack — as good Samaritans step up to help

A 17-year-old tourist from Nashville was randomly slugged near Central Park Wednesday — with his parents saying they were both “shocked” by the brazen attack and grateful for the New Yorkers who came to their aid.

The Chittom family was walking to the park on their last day in the Big Apple when they said a man who appeared to be homeless came out of nowhere and punched their son, Caleb, in the face before running off without a word.

Dad Thom Chittom told The Post he was in “disbelief that that would happen … That somebody would just do something like that.”

But with the family still in shock, Chittom and his wife said the real New York suddenly showed its true colors.

“I looked up from where my son lay and the first person I laid eyes on was already on the phone calling 911, giving a detailed description of where we were,” Lynn-nore Chittom, the teen’s mom, told The Post.

“People were helping in every way. Everyone who came up asked if they could help.”

The attack was allegedly done by a homeless man.
A 17-year-old tourist from Nashville was randomly slugged near Central Park.
Robert Miller

The Chittoms, who have made the trek from Tennessee to New York City in the past, said they were heading to Central Park on Wednesday afternoon so Caleb could do some sketching.

The teen was near the corner of West 66th Street at around 12:30 p.m. when a brute came out of nowhere and “just decked him,” his dad said.

“Honestly, kind of disbelief,” Thom Chittom, a software tester back home, said of the immediate aftermath. “Shock. You know, he kind of had fallen in the edge of the street.

“I think there was a little bit of panic that he might get hit by a vehicle or something that doesn’t realize he was there,” the dad added. “All of those things kind of go through your mind.”

Caleb was later taken to Lenox Hill Hospital, where he was being treated for bruises and a bloody nose, his dad said.

He is in stable condition.
The teen was brought to Lenox Hill Hospital after the attack.
Robert Miller

The family planned to return home Thursday, but may now have to delay their trip, Thom added.

But despite the painful end to their latest big city excursion, the Chittoms were overwhelmed with the outpouring from everyday New Yorkers.

“I’m impressed because aside from the one seemingly mentally ill person who punched my kid, every other person we’ve encountered — everyone — has been just amazingly nice,” said Lynn-nore, a middle school theater teacher back home.

“I’m sorry that this happened,” she added. “[But] if anything it makes me love the city more because the city should not be defined by the one homeless guy who punched my kid. It’s all the other people who helped.”

Chittom said that everyone came to help Caleb out.
Thom Chittom was shocked by the kindness of New Yorkers who helped his son.
Robert Miller

The couple was “stunned” by the help they received from good Samaritans, Thom added.

“Literally within moments some person brought over some stuff for his nose, and another person was already on the phone calling 911. Another person followed the guy to get photos for the police,” he said.

“So, just the general outpouring from everybody around of just kindness, sympathy and help — that’s really more characteristic of the city.”

The couple said they reported the attack to cops. An NYPD spokesperson didn’t immediately have any details on the incident.

It’s just the latest assault on an out-of-towner.

On Sunday, a tourist from Maryland was smashed in the head with a bottle, slashed and robbed in Times Square as he walked back to his hotel around 4:30 a.m.

Last month, a tourist from Denmark was shot on the Upper West Side when he refused to give up his wallet and cellphone to an armed robber.

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