Robbers likely armed with a tree branch beat a homeless man so brutally that the victim suffered a fractured skull and possible internal injuries near downtown Riverhead over the weekend, authorities said.
Riverhead Town Police officers responded to a report of a man found bleeding heavily from the head on the side of BP Gas Station on West Main Street shortly before 1 p.m. Sunday, police said.
Investigators found that the 33-year-old victim had been attacked on the nearby Long Island Rail Road tracks behind the Long Island Ice and Fuel Plant, where he was robbed of $400 cash, police said.
Two or three assailants repeatedly struck him in the head with an unknown object that police suspect might be a tree branch, authorities said.
He was taken to Stony Brook University Medical Center, where he was admitted to the critical care unit for treatment of his injuries.
Riverhead town police detectives ask that anyone with information about the case call them at 631-727-4500 ext. 332.