NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It was a vicious attack in broad daylight in one of the city’s safest neighborhoods. An 82-year-old man, an acclaimed industrial designer, was mugged near Central Park has died of his injuries.
Police are now searching for his killer, reports CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman.
“My friend was coming. He’s an old man. And there was somebody, was looking for an easy, vulnerable person to attack. And he didn’t ask him for money. He knocked him down,” Gene Koretz said of his friend, Gerard Abramowitz.
Abramowitz was attacked on a quiet stretch of West 89th Street back in late May. Police said he went to friend’s apartment sometime after 5 that evening and rang the doorbell, when someone hit him in the head from behind, knocking him to the ground. The attacker went through the elderly man’s pockets, took his wallet, but saw there was no money and ran off, leaving Abramowitz lying in the vestibule in a pool of his own blood.
Two days after getting hit in the head, Abramowitz collapsed in his apartment and was rushed back to Mount Sinai Hospital. Early Thursday morning he died.
“Obviously, the investigation is going forward. Hopefully we’ll be able to get some DNA from the wallet. That process is going forward,” NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said.
“Well, we’re very, very distraught at losing this wonderful person,” Koretz said.
Abramowitz was an acclaimed designer. A desk lamp he created, for example, is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. He designed a home for his parents. His brother, Oscar, flew in from Pretoria.
“[He was] very creative. He wouldn’t stop for a minute. Whatever he saw, he could see the potential of making something out of it,” Oscar Abramowitz said.
Friends and family will never be the same and for now, this once-calm neighborhood is not the same.
“There’s a predator out there as I said. And he needs … he needs to be caged,” Koretz said.
Detectives said they need the public’s help. Police had posted a $2,000 reward. Abramowitz’ friends and family have increased to $5,000.
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