NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An 83-year-old woman is speaking out after being attacked and robbed inside her building in Harlem.
Miriam Castillo clutched onto rosary beads as she walked down St. Nicholas Avenue to church Thursday morning, dedicated to her daily routine and thankful to see another day.
She was returning home from Mass services Wednesday when police said a man followed her into her building in the area of 117th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue.
“I asked him why he had his face covered and he said because he was cold and that was it,” Castillo told CBS2’s Magdalena Doris in Spanish.
Surveillance video shows the man waiting for her as she went to the mailbox and then following her onto an elevator. Police said when she got to her floor, he knocked her to the ground in the hallway before grabbing her purse.
“He grabbed and slammed me down and I hurt my head,” she said. “It was right in front of door.”
Police say the suspect left Castillo lying on the ground as he ran back down the stairwell, dropping the bag but not before stealing Castillo’s cellphone and her wallet that had just $10 in cash inside.
Castillo was treated at the scene for pain and bruising to her head.
Despite the attack, she resolves to live unafraid.
“I’m not scared,” she said. “I’m not someone who scares easily. Nothing scares me, not even illness because we are here until God decides.”
Castillo says she’s grateful to her neighbors who helped her up and called the police. Investigators describe the suspect as a Hispanic man who was wearing a black hooded jacket, green cargo pants and tan boots.
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.