LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports
The attack was caught on surveillance video Thursday afternoon in Parkchester near Unionport.
Police say the suspect followed 81-year-old Jose Rodriguez into his building, put the elderly man into a choke hold then started punching and kicking him.
The suspect eventually ran off after taking Rodriguez’ jewelry and cash. Rodriguez suffered minor injuries.
“I opened the door. He was behind me, got me like that, all the punches in this eye,” Rodriguez told CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown.
“He said ‘I want your money. I want your money’,” Rodriguez said.
Surveillance shows Rodriguez covering his face, trying to protect himself.
After punching and kicking him, the attacker flipped Rodriguez over and stole his wallet with $30 inside.
Parkchester residents say they are disturbed by the attack.
“Insane. To jump on an elderly man, for what? For what? That’s just too close to home,” said neighbor Jennifer Lee.
“It was brutal,” said one neighbor. “I was very shaken, it makes it you angry. It’s just disgusting.”
Rodriguez is recently widowed. Several friends came by to check on him Saturday.
Making the attack even more brazen, it happened just steps away from a public safety office.
Police and public safety officers have stepped up patrols in the area, hoping to make it safer, but community activists say more needs to be done.
“The crime here is increasing to the point where people are afraid to go out after a certain time, after a certain hour,” said Luis Sepulveda.
Rodriguez was still too nervous to walk through the lobby of his building. He hasn’t seen the surveillance, saying he wasn’t sure he wants to relive the nightmare.
Police say the suspect is between 17 and 20-years-old and was wearing a dark blue T-shirt, blue jeans, black sneakers and was carrying a back pack.
Anyone with information should call police or Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477) or go to www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.
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