NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – An 84-year-old Bronx man was shoved to the ground and robbed as he returned home from church Sunday.
He told CBS2’s Erin Logan he’s lived in his apartment building on Southern Boulevard in Longwood for more than 30 years and has never been threatened or robbed.
“It was so fast. You don’t have no time to think about nothing,” victim Gilberto Mena told Logan.
When he heard the words “Give me the money” in Spanish, he said he thought, “it’s OK.”
“I don’t have too much on me,” he said. “I only got $10 loose and $15 in my wallet, and he took off and ran out.”
Mena said it happened as he was by the mailboxes in his apartment building just after 9:30 a.m. Sunday.
His routine after church had started out as planned.
“I played my numbers, I came back, bought the paper,” he said.
Then the thief caught him by surprise.
“I didn’t seem someone grab me over here by the neck, and he threw me on the floor and he said, ‘Give me the money,’” Mena said.
He said the man reached into the front pocket of his jacket where he keeps his wallet. He told Logan he doesn’t think he was followed from church.
“When I open the door, when I come from the street, there was nobody behind me,” he said.
After watching the surveillance video of the man running inside the building, Mena said he believes the man was there before he was. He remembers him running around the corner from the mailboxes.
When the man took off, Mena went upstairs and told his son to call the police. It didn’t take officers long to respond, as there is a precinct right next door.
In the 35 years he’s lived there, Mena says he’s always felt safe. Those feelings haven’t changed because of the man police are now looking for.