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Queens 96-Year-Old To Mugger: ‘He’s Gotta Fight Me’

Alfonso Scannapieco Recounts Terrifying Ordeal With Stranger
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Alfonso Scannapieco

Alfonso Scannapieco (Photo: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – An elderly man has become a crime victim for the first time in his life. He was mugged inside his own building last Thursday.

The thief made off with some cash, but police caught the robber on camera, reports CBS 2’s John Slattery.

Alfonso Scannapieco, at 96-and-a-half years old, was an incredibly easy mark for a mugger, but he issued a challenge to his attacker.

“If I run into him, to tell you the truth, he’s gotta fight me. Naturally, I’m gonna lose, but he’s gotta fight me,” Scannapieco said.

1010 WINS Reporter Al Jones gets reaction from Scannapieco about the attack.

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Police released an image of the suspect, taken by a surveillance camera in the elevator of the victim’s Queens building. He was described as a man between 40 and 50 years old, nearly 5-foot-5, and wearing a black parka jacket, black knitted ski cap, black gloves and black pants.

mugger Queens 96 Year Old To Mugger: Hes Gotta Fight Me

Mugging Suspect (credit: NYPD)

Last Thursday, after shopping, when Scannapieco returned to his building, the suspect held the outside door. Then, the two rode the elevator together to the fifth floor.

When the elderly man got off the elevator, the other man got off with him and indicated he needed money for a funeral.

“He says ‘funeral.’ I put my hand in my pocket to give him money. He literally grabs it and I’m hanging onto the money,” Scannapieco said.

The spunky old man, holding onto more than $90, began tussling with the younger, middle-aged robber.

“He’s pushing one way, I’m pushing the other way. When he took the money and ran I fell backwards,” Scannapieco said.

Scannapieco, who is a retired building superintendent, said he wasn’t injured and actually kept the mood light.

“Well dressed.  Better than me.  Business must be good, whatever,” he said with a laugh.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visit the Crime Stoppers website, or text TIP577 along with a message to to 274637 (CRIMES).

All calls are strictly confidential.

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