Robbed Of Bible, Glasses, Victim: 'I Was Thinking It's A Nightmare'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police are still searching for the suspect who attacked and robbed an elderly man in Chelsea on Monday.

CBS 2’s John Slattery spoke exclusively to the 92-year-old mugging victim in the hospital on Thursday.

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The attack happened at around 11:30 p.m. Monday on West 18th Street.

“I was thinking it’s a nightmare,” victim Ricardo Velez told Slattery. “I hope it’s a nightmare. But it wasn’t. It was for real.”

Ricardo Velez (CBS 2)

Ricardo Velez (CBS 2)

Police said the suspect followed Velez into his apartment building where he has lived for the past 50 years, pushed him to the ground and robbed him.

“Then he push me with umbrella and I went to the floor. My hip…broke my hip,” Velez said.

The suspect took off with Velez’s bag, which contained his glasses and a Bible, 1010 WINS’ John Montone reported.

Velez’s upstairs neighbor, Radames Hernandez, told Slattery his dog heard the attack and barked. Hernandez opened his door and could hear Velez calling out.

“”I hear him, ‘help, help, help.’ I came down and he says ‘somebody knocked me down,'” Hernandez said.

The suspect, described only as a man in his 30s, was seen on surveillance video near the scene.  He appeared to be limping on his right leg.

Velez, a devout member of Jehovah’s Witnesses, said the leather-bound Bible was a prized possession. He is recovering at Bellevue Hospital.

A $22,000 reward is being offered leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect — $10,000 from the mayor’s office, $10,000 from the NYPD and $2,000 from Crime Stoppers.

Anyone with information should call police or Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, visit or text tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

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