NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A trip to the park took a terrifying turn for a daycare worker who police said was robbed at gunpoint in front of a group of young children.
The suspect followed the 39-year-old woman and eight children – ages 1 to 5 — into an elevator at a building on Fulton Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant around 2:30 p.m. Monday, police said.
“He said ‘give me your necklace,’” the victim, whose name is being withheld to protect her identity, told CBS 2’s Weijia Jiang.
The suspect then took a bracelet and ring from the woman before pointing a gun at her and demanding cash, Jiang reported.
“When I said ‘I don’t have any money,’ he put the gun more in my face and said, ‘If you don’t give it to me, I’ll kill you in front of these kids,’” the victim said.
The group was returning from the park to the daycare center, which is located at the building, at the time of the incident.
The victim said during and after the attack, the children were all chillingly silent.
“The kids, they was looking. I don’t know if they were looking at me or looking at him. But it was all quiet, just looking,” the victim told Jiang.
No one was injured in the attack and the suspect fled on a bicycle, police said.
The victim is back to work and the kids back to playing, but the attack has left her shaken, Jiang reported.
“I was terrified. I felt like that was it. I’m just scared, I’m still scared,” the victim said. “He didn’t touch me, but he hurt me. My nightmares, I still think about it, I’m still picturing it.”
Experts say kids are resilient, but not immune to trauma.
“This is something that they could remember. They could have scary dreams. And so what you do is you continue to remind them that they’re safe,” psychologist Dr. Harris Stratyner with the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine told Jiang.
Parents should seek professional help if their behavior starts to change, experts said.
The building manager told CBS 2 he has never seen the suspect before and is warning tenants to watch out. Some residents said they are heeding that advice.
“You could come from the train station, the grocery store, anything and be coming in the building with your kids and get robbed with your kids,” resident Amy Amore said.
The victim also issued a warning of her own.
“You just gotta be careful because whether you have kids or not, they’re still going to be after you,” she told Jiang.
Surveillance cameras captured the entire attack and the suspect fleeing the scene.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477).
The public can also submit their tips to the Crime Stoppers’ website or text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577.
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