NEW YORK -- CBS news anchorman Dan Rather was beaten during a bizarre case of apparent mistaken identity on Park Avenue but escaped serious injury when a doorman came to his rescue in an apartment lobby, police said Sunday.
A CBS spokeswoman said no decision had been made whether Rather would be at his regular spot on the 'CBS Evening News' Monday.
The spokeswoman, Ramona Dunn, said, 'We are very perplexed as to the motive for the attack. It seems it was a case of mistake identity.'
Rather told police he had just left an apartment on Manhattan's Park Ave. late Saturday night when a man approached him and asked, 'Kenneth, what's the frequency?' Police said Rather told the man, 'I think you have the wrong guy.'
The man responded by slugging Rather in the face and knocking him to the ground. Rather ran into the lobby of 1075 Park Ave. but the man and an accomplice, who were both well dressed, followed him.
They again asked, 'What's the frequency?' and when Rather did not respond they knocked him to the ground and kicked him, police said.
Both attackers fled when the doorman ran to the lobby.
Dunn said Rather was carrying money, but he was not robbed.
Rather was taken to Lenox Hill Hospital, where he was treated for superficial injuries to his face and left side. A hospital spokesman said Rather 'appeared to handle the situation as well as anyone' before he was released under the care of his doctor.
The CBS anchorman told police one of his assailants wore a dark suit and a black tie. The man, who was about 6 feet tall, had dark hair and a moustache. Police said the second attacker was also well dressed, but Rather was unable to give a detailed description of him.
Police said they did not have a motive for the attack.
At the time of Rather's release from the hospital, a Lenox Hill spokesman said the newsman did not 'look bad at this moment, but we don't know what 6 or 8 more hours will do' when swelling would be more apparent.
This was not Rather's first encounter with unknown assailants. This summer Rather confronted a burglar who broke into the house he was renting in the posh Long Island beach retreat of the Hamptons.
Rather was so irate that he frightened the burglar away, police said. The intruder was never found.
On Nov. 11, 1980, a Chicago cab driver took Rather on a wild ride through city streets with the newsman captive in the back seat. The cabbie accused Rather of trying to welsh on his fare, but police later dismissed the charge as unfounded.