National Book Award winner Colum McCann, who was badly beaten in New Haven and hospitalized last Saturday, has spoken up about the attack.

He was on a busy street near the Yale University campus, trying to help a woman in a dispute with a man when the man struck him.

In a statement McCann said that he was cold clocked and suffered a concussion, a broken bone, broken teeth and was lucky an off-duty paramedic was present.

“It was a shocking, cowardly attack in broad daylight on a busy street.” I was trying to help someone out. I was cold-clocked without warning. I had a severe concussion, a broken cheekbone, some broken teeth and a spirit that has been temporarily bruised.

“But I am recovering quickly and I’ve been overwhelmed by the generous response from friends and strangers alike.

“Luckily there was an off-duty paramedic on the street and he came straight to my aid. The irony of it all was that I was at a conference on “empathy” at Yale University…" he said.

McCann said cops were close to an arrest in the case. “The police have not yet arrested the attacker but I they are very close to pressing charges.

“I suffered a few injuries but nothing that can’t be quickly healed. If anything I was shaken out of the ruts of my ordinary and I have been struck by the genuine caring nature of people asking me how they can help out.”

McCann is one of Ireland’s best-known authors and won the National Book Award in 2009 for “Let the Greet World Spin” an allegory about 9/11 that is being made into a Hollywood movie.

Watch McCann talk more about empathy and his project Narrative4: