NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An alleged thief pretended to help a man using a walker before robbing him in Harlem, according to police.
Anthony McBride, 61, usually has trouble getting into his building while using his walker, so when someone held the door for him Monday afternoon he was more than grateful for the help, CBS2’s Magdalena Doris reported.
“He was holding the door so I thought he lived in the building,” McBride said.
But seconds later, the man holding the door snatched the gold chain off of McBride’s neck before pushing him to the ground and running off, Doris reported.
“He snatched the chain then he pushed me down. It’s very easy to push me down,” said McBride adding that he suffered a stroke five years ago, which has impacted his speech and balance. “I was scared.”
McBride said he wasn’t badly injured in the incident, suffering a small scrape to his neck. But he said he’s afraid to walk outside by himself and will not be leaving his house without a family member by his side.
“You should be able to do want you want to do when you are in a walker, but people like him are bad,” McBride said.
There was no way that McBride could fight back, 5 years ago a stroke left him partially paralyzed.
The entire incident was caught on surveillance video, which was released by police.
On Wednesday, NYPD community affairs officers were enlisting neighbors to be on the lookout, while standing guard on the corner and offering tips to others who could be vulnerable.
“I’m 83, I don’t want that to happen to me. I feel so bad, and get so depressed when I see a thing like that,” one resident said.
McBride said he’s hopeful to one day regain his sense of security.
Until then he has a message for the man who towered over him, and took advantage.
“Tell him he’s a punk,” he said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS, visit the Crime Stoppers website, or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) and enter TIP577.