CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - Police are trying to gather details of another early morning sucker punch that hospitalized a man.
According to Charleston police, a patrol officer was flagged down by a person who said a man had been punched in the face and was lying unconscious on King Street.
When the officer arrived, he found a 26-year-old Bluffton man lying in the street with blood coming from his nose, the report states. The man's wife said they and some friends were walking down King Street when they passed a group of people.
For Billy Schilling and his wife Ashley, a rare evening out along King Street took a frightening turn when four guys walking towards them made a comment at Ashley Schilling.
"I was on the phone so I'm not sure what they said," she said. "But it was directed towards me because I heard my husband say as they were walking by, 'This is my wife. Are you really going to talk to my wife this way?'"
Both groups continued on their way until one of the men ran back to confront Billy Schilling.
The police report states one of the men in the group and punched Billy Schilling in the face, then fled down Warren Street. Ashley Schilling described the attacker as being white, over 6 feet tall, and stocky.
"The guy punched him in the face as hard as I've ever seen. My husband fell back on the ground. He fell, lost consciousness, blood coming out from his mouth and ears," she said. "I honestly thought he was dead. It was the worst moment in my life."
Lying on the cement bruised, bloodied, and with a cracked skull, Billy Schilling remained motionless for several minutes.
"To see him lying on the ground and to think he was dead, your whole life flashes before your eyes. You think to yourself, 'This can't be it. Someone can't just come up and take someone's life like this. It can't be it,'" said Ashley Schilling.
To add insult to injury, Ashley Schilling says people were taking pictures and videos instead of offering to help. One man even said, "Come on, be a man and walk it off," she said.
Other witnesses corroborated Ashley Schilling's story, according to the report, and a business owner said he has surveillance video that may have caught the attacker running from the area.
EMS took Billy Schilling to Medical University Hospital for treatment. Police say the man was conscious and talking to his wife when EMS arrived.
Luckily, Billy Schilling is expected to make a full recovery.
Police on Wednesday afternoon released surveillance photos of several people that may have seen the suspect or participated in the attack. As a result, Charleston police are trying to identify the men. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 554-1111.
Schilling's family is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the man responsible for the attack.
This is the second time in recent months someone was hospitalized after being sucker punched late at night on King Street. In the first incident, Clinton Seymour was hospitalized for days before he died.