A Dublin man is fighting for his life in a New York hospital after he was assaulted during a night out with his wife on Katonah Avenue in the Bronx on Sunday, July 18.
Barry McCormack, 35, was on a double date with his American wife Cheryl, another couple and a friend when the night came to an abrupt end after McCormack was assaulted.
The NYPD told the Irish Voice on Monday that McCormack, who lives in Wappingers Falls, New York, with his wife and two children, both under the age of three, received one punch to the face knocking him to the ground unconscious.
After a dinner with his wife and friends in Yonkers, the group decided to make their way down to some of the bars on Katonah Avenue in the Bronx. It was close to 2 a.m. early Sunday morning when McCormack and company entered a bar at 4358 Katonah Avenue.
Just before going inside they noticed a man that police identified as Cornelius O’Shea, standing outside the bar with his shirt off and jumping up and down. This made them uneasy and they opted to leave the bar again immediately and go further down Katonah Avenue.
According to McCormack’s first cousin, Mark McCormack, Cheryl and the other woman in the group, who is six months pregnant, needed to use the bathroom so the men waited for them inside the bar.
When the group was ready to leave O’Shea, according to Mark, told them to “get the f*** out of the bar.”
McCormack, a supervisor with Irish company ECI Contracting, asked O’Shea what his problem was and he began verbally abusing them.
“Barry knew at this stage to leave so they all walked away heading down Katonah Avenue,” Mark told the Irish Voice on Monday.
Moments later O’Shea took a run at the group and landed one hard punch to McCormack’s face knocking him to the ground and subsequently causing severe damage to his brain.
The police were immediately called and O’Shea was arrested for assault.
McCormack was taken to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx where he was immediately put into a medically induced coma.
“Barry suffered a fractured temple, a fractured skull, bleeding on the brain and an enlarged brain,” said Mark.
Last week McCormack underwent a brain operation to relieve the pressure. He also had a tracheotomy to assist in his breathing.
McCormack had been living in the Riverdale section of the Bronx until moving with his wife and children to Wappingers Falls, upstate New York a little over a year ago.
This was his first time back in the Irish enclave of Woodlawn since moving upstate. His wife had told friends earlier that day she was looking forward to their night out together with their friends.
On Monday night, July 26, McCormack was being weaned out of his medically induced coma. Doctors are waiting for the effects to fully wear off in order to determine the extent of damage.
McCormack’s father and sister flew out from Ireland last week to be at his bedside. This is a second tragedy to hit the McCormack family.
“Barry’s mother received brain damage after falling down the stairs and hitting her head off a phone table a number of years ago and spent 10 years like that until she died,” said Mark.
O’Shea went before a judge on Sunday, July 18 and was charged with assault three, a misdemeanor charge. He was released on $1,000 bail.
“This really annoys me,” said a disgruntled Mark, who is godfather to McCormack’s eldest son.
“He could have very well killed Barry and he gets a misdemeanor charge. It’s not on.”
Mark feels his cousin was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and O’Shea could have assaulted anyone that night.
“You just never know,” he said.