Police are looking for the thug recorded on surveillance cameras beating and kicking an 81-year-old man in the lobby of his Bronx apartment building, before stealing his jewelry and money.
Thursday at 4 p.m. the suspect -- who police describe as a black male, 17-20 years old -- can be seen in police footage sneaking up behind the man and putting him in a choke hold as he enters the door to the building, located at the corner of Unionport Road and McGraw Avenue. The suspected mugger throws the octogenarian to the ground, repeatedly striking the man in the face, then kicking him in the head. He finally rolls the dazed, defenseless man onto his side and begins going through his pockets, before turning and running out of the building. His victim is left alone on the floor, his belongings scattered around him.
People who live in the building say the security at the Parkchester apartment complex should be better. Vivian Rodriguez says the elderly, especially, should be protected: "They're elderly, they're not supposed to be attacked. There's supposed to be a guard here watching. They're supposed to have more security in the area," while another resident said "if it happened to the man 81 years-old it could happen to anybody."
According to a report in the New York Post, the victim described his ordeal like this. "When I came in, he grabbed me by my throat with his left arm and he was hitting me with his right hand," the octogenarian said. "I tried to defend myself, but he was behind me I was taken by surprise."
The assailant reportedly punched and kicked the elderly in the head repeatedly, as he ripped off $30 cash, a gold crucifix necklace and his Medicare Identification Card. Rodriguez was left with a blackened left eye and a swollen face, but a CAT scan showed the injuries to his head could've been a lot worse.
"I couldn't talk or say anything, I was just trying to defend myself," said Rodriguez, a father of three and grandfather of two who is a retired boiler operator for the city.Rodriguez said if he ran into the suspect again he has no idea what he'd say. "I just get mad at what happened to me, but I'm resigned to he fact that it did. In time I'm sure I'll forget about what happened."
Again, police describe the suspect as Black male, between 17 and 20 years-old, wearing a dark blue T-Shirt, blue jeans, black sneakers and carrying a back pack. Anyone with information is asked to call the Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.
Edited By Michelle RobinsonCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun