Police Report: Homeless man's ear sliced off in latest attack near the 16th street mall

Posted at 9:50 PM, Aug 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-09 02:00:52-04

DENVER-- A homeless man says he was ambushed, robbed and hit with a skateboard at Commons Park at the end of Denver's 16th Street Mall.

He was seriously injured in the attack Friday night. Part of his ear was torn off. 

According to a report filed with Denver Police, the attack happened on the 2100 block of 15th Street.

"Why do you want people to know what happened to you?" asked Denver7 reporter Jennifer Kovaleski.

"Cause it happens, it happens a lot recently -- been happening too much," said the victim, 24-year-old Stephen Sterns.

From violent pipe attacks, to fights caught on cell phone video, to an illegal drug deal Denver7 cameras captured in broad daylight. All of these videos have raised serious questions about safety on the 16th Street Mall. 

Stern's attack is the latest to have happened near the mall.

"I'm just lucky I'm alive," he said.

An avid long boarder, Stern said he was taking a break in Common's Park when someone hit him from behind with a skateboard.

"With the sand paper, it just kind of chopped my ear," he said while showing Kovaleski his stitches. "This is a crazy injury, I've never been hurt this bad."

Stern said he snapped this photo before he blacked out.

It shows part of his ear missing, and a huge gash in his head.

The selfie he took on his cell phone captured a mirrored image of himself, the attack seriously injured his left ear.

"I got hit and I don't really remember much other than waking up in the hospital," he said.

According to the police report, Stern said the guy who hit him took his debit card and marijuana.

"Commons park is so heavily regulated with police officers, I'm surprised there was no cop around at that moment," Stern said. "It makes me wonder how safe you ever are."

Stern didn't get a good look at the person who hit him, but said he believes he is homeless and may have been on drugs.

He said he moved to Denver from Arizona this summer and is currently living in a local Christian shelter while working on his GED at Urban Peak.