The 20-year-old suspect was identified by police as Cameron Roebuck, and believed to be homeless. He was in lock-up at Bronx Criminal Court Sunday, charged with robbery, though more charges were likely.
The attack was caught on surveillance video Thursday afternoon in Parkchester near Unionport.
Roebuck allegedly followed Jose Rodriguez into his building, put the elderly man into a choke hold then started punching and kicking him.
Police said he 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.
One person who saw the surveillance video made an anonymous call to police saying he knew Roebuck’s whereabouts. And police made the arrest Sunday afternoon in the basement of a vacant house near the intersection of Ellis and Castle Hill Avenues.
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.
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