A Spanish tourist is recovering Tuesday from injuries he suffered when a well-dressed man with "a normal appearance" beat him with a large hammer on the head and elsewhere on his body as he was sitting resting on a bench near New York's city hall.

A spokesman with the Spanish Consulate here confirmed to Efe that the diplomatic mission on Tuesday morning received a call from Hugo Alejandro, a 31-year-old Barcelona resident who had traveled to New York with his girlfriend and who will return to Spain Tuesday afternoon "traumatized" by the attack.

Alejandro told the consulate that he was sitting on a bench at City Hall Park in Manhattan on Monday when a man "dressed very nicely and with a normal appearance" began to beat him with a "large" hammer on the head, the arm, the back and abdomen.

Two passersby grabbed and restrained the attacker, who was identified as John Charles Yoos, and kept him subdued at the scene until several police officers arrived to take him into custody. When the officers searched the man, they found a knife in his pocket, a spokesman for the New York Police Department told Efe.

Alejandro was taken immediately to Bellevue Hospital, where he was examined and released so that he could return to Spain on Tuesday. The consulate said that he was "traumatized not so much from the injuries as from the shock."

Yoos started attacking the Spanish tourist and insulting him, and he also shouted comments about President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton, according to a witness quoted by the New York Post. EFE