GREENBURGH (CBSNewYork) – A violent road rage attack on an elderly man has a community concerned. It turns out the alleged suspect is a veteran.
The victim spoke exclusively with CBS 2 Derricke Dennis on Tuesday.
“I’m a senior citizen and I’m handicapped and I don’t want no problems,” the 74-year-old victim said. “Don’t hit me, I said look, I’m an old man. He didn’t care.”
He’s a partially paralyzed stroke victim and on Tuesday was nursing a black eye, and other bruises from a violent and prolonged road rage attack.
“And then he whacked me a couple of times. After he whacked me, he spit on me and he walked away from me,” the victim said.
Afraid to identify himself or fully show his face, just his injuries, he said he was driving home slowly on Monday morning along Jackson Avenue and South Sprain Road in Greenburgh, when 29-year-old Henri Erskine allegedly cut him off in a rage.
“He gets out of the car and says ‘why don’t you put on your signal?’” the victim said.
That’s when he said he was punched repeatedly through his car window, cursed at, left alone and then he said the suspect came back for more.
“Got in the car, he thought about it, jumped out of the car, came out of the car, and then proceeded to hit me again,” the victim said.
The alleged attack finally stopped when passersby on the road, who saw the victim being pummeled, got out of their cars, called 911, and got the suspect’s license plate, police said.
“We were provided a good description of the car and the registration. We were able to contact this person and he turned himself in,” Police Chief Joseph De Carlo said.
Erskine was charged with assault and reckless endangerment, and was released on just $200 bail.
It was all too much for the stroke victim, who found out his alleged attacker is an Army Reservist, apparently with no regard for age or vulnerability, Dennis reported.
“He didn’t care. He was like that’s your problem,” the victim said.
The victim’s family was also outraged.
“He punched him, he spit on him. The spit is like disrespect. I don’t care what you have to say, punching is disrespect. He wouldn’t want that done to his mother, father, or himself,” daughter Stephanie Kaplan said.
The suspect’s address comes back to an apartment building on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Police said they tracked Erskine there, but when CBS 2’s Dennis knocked Tuesday night, there was no answer at the door.
Despite his age and disability, the victim is legally cleared to drive. The suspect is due back to court next month, police said.
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