Police arrest teen in connection to park attack in Lancaster, victim recalls the assault

LANCASTER, Pa. -- A neighborhood leader says he was assaulted at a park in Lancaster.

Now, that man has a message for the teenager responsible and for police.

Jose Rivera says it went down Sunday at Crystal Park in the city.

He says he was leaving the park when a person attacked him from behind.

Police arrested a 16-year-old in connection to the alleged attack.

Rivera says the force of the blow knocked him to the ground where he hit his face off concrete steps.

"All of a sudden, I feel this shot!" said Rivera. "I couldn't defend myself cause he blindsided me! He hit me from behind cause if he would've faced me -this 60-year-old man still has a bite, I would've took him down."

Jose Rivera still has the bruises to show from that attack at Crystal Park in Lancaster.

"Why he did it? Honestly, I think somebody put him up to that," said Rivera. "He had no idea who he was hitting."

Rivera is a passionate guy, not just in the way he speaks, but about the kids in Lancaster, and how much he cares about the city's parks.

"Somebody has been taking down our beautiful sign that the neighborhood committee put up. Beautiful!" said Rivera.

Time and time again, Rivera says he puts the sign back on its post. On Father's Day, he says it happened again. This time, though, he swears someone was out to get him.

"There's always people who don't want you to safeguard your neighborhood or your park, cause who knows? They are probably making a profit on it, and I'm disturbing that profit," said Rivera.

After the attack, he says he called 911 twice, and it took a long time before he spoke with an officer.

"It took two hours before the officer responded to me, and he was on the other side of the park!" explained Rivera.

Rivera's daughter shared what happened on Facebook, and the post drew a lot of eyes.

"Now, he's probably running scared cause, 'oops. I hit the wrong guy' because I'm trying to control the neighborhood from getting their hands on him, and they will if the police officers do not hurry up," Rivera had said.

Police say a camera in the area captured part of the assault.

"Guess what... I'll be back out there, bigger and stronger, and I will not stop. I am not stopping at all - cause I feel the neighborhoods belong to the citizens. They don't belong to city hall cause they don't live here!" said Rivera.

In response to the attack, Rivera says parents need to pay more attention to their kids.

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