NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The search is on for a man who police say is targeting women in a series of violent armed robberies in Brooklyn.
One of the victims, Julie Siriah, spoke exclusively to CBS2. She described the terrifying moment a stranger came up from behind her as she walked just a few dozen feet away from her home on Hubbard Street on July 11.
“I turn around and it was already too late,” she told CBS2’s Marc Liverman. “He just came on top of me.”
Siriah said she was screaming at the top of her lungs.
“He’s like, ‘Stop screaming, stop screaming, just give me everything you have,'” she said.
But she was so terrified, she couldn’t stop.
“He punched me,” she said. “I fell on the door and then he took my phone and he ran.”
She said all that kept racing through her head was “that he was going to kill me or take me.”
Police said the same man is responsible for at least four other robberies in Brooklyn in July.
A few days after the first incident on July 15, police said he walked up to a 21-year-old woman in the area of East 1st Street and Avenue Y, pulled out a gun and demanded her property. She handed over her cell phone and bag, which police said contained credits and $150 in cash and the man fled.
The next day, he robbed a 63-year-old woman at gunpoint on West 2nd Street, stealing her phone and $18, according to police.
On July 18, a 26-year-old woman was walking in the area of Avenue Z and East 26th Street when she noticed she was being followed and tried to run away. Police said the man chased her down, pulled out a gun and punched her in the face numerous times.
When the victim fell to the ground, police said he grabbed her bag and took off.
The most recent incident happened on July 22 on West 3rd Street. Police said a 22-year-old woman noticed someone behind and when she turned around, the suspect tackled her to the ground, slapped her and grabbed her bag, phone and more than $700 in cash.
Police said the suspect was seen on surveillance video. They describe him as a black man in his early 20s, between 5’5″ and 5’10” tall with a slim build. He was last seen wearing a hooded sweatshirt with dark markings on the upper sleeve and shoulder area, sweatpants and black sneakers.
Police said he often covers his face with either a ski mask, bandanna, du-rag or towel.
As for Siriah, she said she can’t stop looking over her shoulder.
“I’m paranoid,” she said. “I downloaded the citizen app, everything.”
She not only suffered emotionally but physically, too.
“It killed. Like I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t brush my teeth. If I sneezed or if I coughed, any movement with the mouth, it like really, really hurt,” she said.
And Siriah’s mom, Shella, is terrified too.
“I like to walk now with someone else or like day time,” she said.
And she’s angry that so far, this man has been able to get away.
“It’s not because of her,” she said. “It’s just different people when they heard this, they’re scared to walk by them self anymore.”
“He should go to jail forever,” Siriah added.
Police said that so far, the man has gotten away with nearly $1,000 in cash, several cellphones and other electronics.
Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782), visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.