17-Year-Old Takes A Beating, But Quick Thinking May Help Police Investigation

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police on Tuesday were warning iPhone users that thefts are on the rise, and they are becoming increasingly violent.

As CBS 2’s John Slattery reported, one teenage girl knows about that all too well, as she was viciously beaten for her iPhone in the Bronx.

On Jan. 24, a man followed a 17-year-old girl into her apartment building on East 187th Street in the Belmont section of the Bronx. The teen, who asked to not be identified, said her building’s front door didn’t fully close behind her and she was followed up the stairs by a man in a hooded coat.

“And he pushed me and said, ‘give me your phone,’ and I started screaming, ’cause my dad was home,” she told CBS 2’s John Slattery on Tuesday.

Her dog started barking in the apartment, but her father didn’t respond.

“He would cover my mouth to not scream, but I pushed his hand and I guess he got frustrated as I kept screaming,” she said.

The suspect then dragged her down stairs and punched her in the face before stealing her iPhone, police said.

“He punched me in the face, in my eye, and I had my keys in hand, and so I just started hitting back with my keys,” she told CBS 2’s Slattery.

“Since I kept fighting back with him, that’s when he started hitting me,” the girl told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg.

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The teen said she continued to fight the suspect and even stood him up and pulled off his hood knowing there were surveillance cameras in the building. Police said the entire attack was captured on video.

“I wanted to make sure the camera got his face,” she said. “And I kicked him off me and he got mad and hit me more, grabbed my phone and left.”

The suspect was last seen headed westbound on East 187 Street, police said. He is described as a Hispanic man in his early 20s. He is about 6-foot-2 and 160 pounds and has black hair in cornrow braids. He was last seen wearing a burgundy coat with a fur trim.

Anyone with information should call police or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.

The NYPD said that in 2012, the theft of Apple products was up by nearly 3,900 over the previous year. As a result, the NYPD has launched a program letting consumers register their electronic devices to trace them if they are lost or stolen.

The high school senior suffered black eyes and a knot on the head. Her mother said fighting back was not smart.

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