"These guys came up from behind me, they jumped me from behind; I look so dangerous," Shea said with a laugh.
He's in good spirits, but left with bruises on his face and body after the brutal beating on the trail.
The retired Temple University Vice President and communications professor takes frequent walks near Wissahickon Valley Park.
On Monday, he passed four young men.
Moments later, the 130 pound man was on the ground trying to protect himself.
Two men used rocks and kicks to injure Shea while the other two stood and laughed.
"You do lose your dignity. There's nothing you can do, absolutely nothing you can do," Shea said.
Shea had a wallet with cash inside, keys and a cell phone, but his attackers didn't take one thing. They just beat him up and walked off.
Shea says the men appeared to be around 17 to 21 years old.
Three of them were wearing dark LaSalle sweatshirts similar.
"But I don't think for a second these kids were from LaSalle because sweatshirts and t-shirts are a national billboard so everybody wears something from some place," Shea said.
Word of the incident has spread among those who use this trail.
"A bit of disbelief, it doesn't connect with my experience being here," Jud Sharp of Germantown said.
Shea says he always picked the middle of the day to walk Forbidden Drive because there are less people.
That will now change as he tries to get past the violent incident which happened in this beautiful place.
"It's just a great gift, right now it's not so beautiful, but it will be beautiful again, I'm sure," Shea said.