MOUNT CARMEL - The details surrounding the Tuesday beating of a Mount Carmel man remain unclear Thursday, and according to the borough mayor, even the police department has little knowledge of the attack.

"There was an altercation between some kids and an individual," said Mayor J. Kevin Jones Thursday by phone after police declined to provide more information. Jones, as mayor, has jurisdiction over the police department.

Richard McPeak required extensive surgery Wednesday for the injuries he received as a result of the attack.

Called Thursday, McPeak and his wife Bridget preferred to speak with the police before commenting publicly.

"I'm going to wait until the investigating officer talks to me," said McPeak. "I'd be more than happy to talk, but I'm not doing anything until we see what's going on."

According to the mayor, the police have had difficulty gathering information because no formal report was made to the department.

"They're acting on what they've heard, and the chief is on vacation," said Jones.

The incident is under investigation, he added.

There were conflicting reports as to where the incident took place - several anonymous sources said the attack happened in the town park on Market Street, but the mayor said it happened on East Sixth Street.

Another detail in question is the number of people who attacked McPeak, ranging from five to nearly 20.

Sources say McPeak was walking his dog when several men began kicking and punching him. When the attack stopped, emergency medical services were called by witnesses to take him for treatment.