North Park man severely injured in ambush attack

Posted at 6:35 PM, Jan 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-25 21:35:51-05

A North Park man is thankful for the stranger who was standing over him after he woke up from a brutal attack Sunday morning.

"I'm fearful I wouldn't be here if it weren't for him," said 33-year-old Billy Kidney.

Kidney said around 3 a.m. Sunday, he believes he was walking on Louisiana Street, returning from a nightclub in Hillcrest and sober. Not far from home, he started texting a friend. Soon after, he heard voices in front of him and around the corner.

"I put my phone in my back pocket. That way I'm not looking down and not distracted," said Kidney.

Next thing he remembers, he was laying on a blood-stained pavement with a man standing over him.

"I just heard someone say, 'What is your name? There's an ambulance on the way,'" said Kidney.

Kidney said the man, whose name is David, got him help quickly and kept him alert.

At the hospital, doctors told Kidney someone likely punched him several times. His cheekbone was broken in two places. His nose was broken, and so was his collarbone.

As for a motive, police say they don't know if this could be another example of the "knockout game," where victims are sucker-punched by strangers.

Also, Kidney and other neighbors living nearby say a shuttered Haggen store -- a block away -- has attracted graffiti, trash and more people loitering around the area.

"I've never felt unsafe. Unfortunately, now that's been proven wrong," said Kidney.

As for the stranger who proved so helpful, Kidney has a message for him: "I'm so, so, so appreciative of David."

Police say David did stick around and they planned a follow-up interview with him.

A witness saw a man -- described as 6 feet tall and about 280 pounds -- running from the scene.