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A male University employee was reportedly assaulted Monday night and sustained multiple injuries.

Robert Lawley, who works at the Fisher Fine Arts Library, reported that as he attempted to enter the liquor store near 41st and Market streets, he was attacked by a panhandler.

According to Lawley, the man asked for some money and, when Lawley refused, took a metal rake and scraped it across Lawley's face.

Lawley sustained eye socket and nose fractures as well as lacerations to the face, and while he was initially scheduled to undergo surgery today for those injuries, he said doctors will wait for any facial swelling to subside before they determine the need for surgery.

He said he will be released from Presbyterian Hospital, located at 51 N. 39th Street, this morning.

Lawley said he reported the attack to the Philadelphia Police Department and gave them a description of his attacker, but Lawley did not seem confident that much will come of an investigation.

PPD was "supposed to send detectives to talk to me, but that didn't happen," Lawley said. "I'm assuming that, in some way, they're looking for him, but they're not in hot pursuit."

Neither Penn Police nor the PPD's Southwest Detectives Division reported knowledge of the incident last night.

Lawley described his attacker as a black male in his late 30s or early 40s, with a beard and wearing dark clothing, but Lawley admitted that he did not get a good look at the assailant.

"Most panhandlers that hang around are pretty calm, but this guy just went totally berserk," Lawley said. "Right now it's just about the business of getting back to my normal self."

And Lawley is being supported by many of his co-workers in the Penn Library system.

According to library staff, Fine Arts Librarian Bill Keller alerted the staff to Lawley's hospital stay and has since visited Lawley. Lawley said he has also received several other visits and numerous cards.

Keller did not wish to comment on the incident.

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