At least two dozen people crowded around as Brendan Byrnes gets punched twice in the face, then collapses on the sidewalk. His head smashes on the Yonge Street pavement.
One woman, horrified, mortified, covers her face with her hand. Another films the attack on her cellphone.
Then they all flee.
Byrnes, 28, had just left a concert at Yonge-Dundas Square about 7:30 p.m. almost two weeks ago when he got into a dispute with a man outside the nearby Pickle Barrel restaurant.
A security camera at the scene captured the June 20 fight, which shows Byrnes throwing at least one punch before being knocked unconscious by a large man with a ponytail and goatee wearing a black T-shirt with a large circular design on the back.
The attacker then stands over Byrnes, apparently checking his condition, before walking away.
But police have little more than the footage.
“We don’t have any witnesses. None,” Det.-Sgt. Deborah Abbott said. “It’s downtown Toronto. We’re used to this. We’re used to people not getting involved.”
Byrnes was put in a medically-induced coma. He suffered severe damage to his brain frontal lobe and was partially paralyzed for days.
On Wednesday, Canada Day, he woke up.
Police urge witnesses — especially the woman who filmed the fight — and the suspect to come forward.
The suspect, a white man in his mid-20s, was last seen wearing a black T-shirt with a large circular design on the back.
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