WATCH: There’s A Devil Loose: ‘Ghostbusters’ and ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Kids’ Star Rick Moranis, 67, is Punched in the Head by a Stranger in Unprovoked Attack on NYC’s Upper West Side

This is the horrifying moment that a stranger punched actor Rick Moranis in the head in an unprovoked attach in New York City.

Video released on Twitter by the New York Police Department (NYPD) shows Moranis, 67, walking southbound on Central Park West near West 70th Street at about 7.30am on Thursday.

Suddenly, an unidentified man walking past the star strikes him in the head, knocking Moranis to the ground.

NYPD did not reveal the victim as Moranis in the tweet, but law enforcement confirmed the identity to the New York Post.

It comes as crimes such as murder have risen 40 percent and burglary has risen 38 percent New York City compared to the same period last year as residents moved out amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rick Moranis, 67, was walking on New York City’s Upper West Side on Thursday around 7.30am when he was attacked. Surveillance footage captures a stranger walking past him abruptly punching Moranis in the head, knocking him to the ground (left and right)
NYPD is offering a $2,500 award for any information that leads to the arrest of the suspect (pictured), who fled the scene on foot

After the attack, Moranis visited a local hospital, where he reported pain in his head, back and right hip. However, the extent of his injuries are unknown.

The actor then reported the incident to cops at the 20th Precinct.

The suspect, who was seen wearing a dark ‘I [love] NY’ sweatshirt, black pants and sneakers, fled the scene on foot and had not yet been apprehended.

On Twitter, the NYPD said it is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for the attacker’s apprehension.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.

Tips, which are confidential, can also be submitted online or via Twitter by sending a message to @NYPDTips.

According to new NYPD statistics, some crimes have been up while others are down compared to last year.

Murder is up 40 percent for the first nine months of 2020 when compared to the first nine months of 2019 with 344 murders compared to 246.

Burglary and grand larceny auto have also risen, by 38 percent and 404 percent, respectively, compared to the same time period in 2019.

However, other crimes such as rape, assault and robbery have fallen by about a 33 percent, 115 percent 149 percent, respectively, from last year, data shows.

Moranis, who was born in Toronto, Canada, secured his big break when he appeared in the 1983 film Strange Brew.

He then appeared in a string of commercially successful films including Ghostbusters in 1984, Spaceballs in 1987, and two films in 1989, Ghostbusters II and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.

The original Honey, I Shrunk the Kids was so successful that Moranis returned for sequel Honey, I Blew Up The Kid in 1992.

He completed the trilogy with straight-to-video sequel Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves in 1997 which was his last on-camera role before his hiatus.

Moranis has largely remained out of the spotlight since, only doing voicework for a few animated projects including the 2003 film Brother Bear and TV series The Animated Adventures Of Bob & Doug McKenzie.

He said he made the decision to step away to focus on being a single father to his children, Rachel and Mitchell, after losing his wife, costume designer Ann Belsky, to breast cancer in February 1991.

He told USA Today: ‘As a single parent and I just found that it was too difficult to manage to raise my kids and to do the traveling involved in making movies.

‘So I took a little bit of a break. And the little bit of a break turned into a longer break, and then I found that I really didn’t miss it.’

Celebrities including Ryan Reynolds and Chris Evens tweeted about their anger over the vicious attack and well-wishes to Moranis

In February 2020, The Hollywood Reporter revealed Moranis would be reprising his role as Wayne Szalinski in Shrunk, a new sequel in the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids series.

It is the first live-action film the actor is starring in in 23 years.

The premise of the film centers around Szalinski’s now grown-up son, portrayed by Frozen star Josh Gad, who repeats the same mistake of shrinking his own children.

In a clip for Disney+ (via Entertainment Weekly), Moranis praised the director of the original film Joe Johnston.

;He had the vision of this in his head. And on that movie, I was really an actor,’ he said.

‘I think I drove him crazy a couple of times trying to get more comedy into it ’cause I was always looking for how to disrupt and get some more jokes in, and poor Joe just wanted to make his movie.’

Celebrities also tweeted about their anger over the vicious attack and their well-wishes to Moranis.

Ryan Reynolds, who starred with Moranis in a commercial earlier this year, wrote: ‘Should have known not to subject Rick to the year 2020. Glad to hear he’s okay.’

And Chris Evans tweeted: ‘My blood is boiling. Find this man. You don’ touch Rick Moranis.’

SOURCE: Daily Mail, Mary Kekatos