NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Two cousins were attacked and robbed last week during a sneaker sale gone wrong in an East Harlem subway station, and their family members are concerned that more people could fall victim.
As CBS2’s Erin Logan reported Sunday night, the cousins packed a backpack with sneakers and hopped on a train, arriving at the 125th Street and Lexington Avenue subway station in East Harlem.
The plan was to hand over a pair of sneakers to the buyer. The older of the two cousins, an 18-year-old Bronx teen had posted an ad on Facebook saying the sneakers were for sale.
But the exchange did not work out as planned for the young man or for his 17-year-old cousin who was with him.
“People out there can’t even make a living like selling stuff in a public place, like it’s not even safe now,” said a family member of both teenagers who did not want to show his face, fearing retaliation.
The teens did not want to show their faces either, but the 18-year-old explained what happened.
As soon as the teen got off the train, he started having second thoughts. He said he texted the man who had offered to buy the shoes and said, “We’re here.” He got a reply back saying, “We?”
He said made him worried.
The teen assumed the man had another attentions – such as attacking him. Police said the teens were approached by three men believed to be in their 20s.
The 18-year-old said they tried to take his backpack with the sneakers in it. At that point, his cousin tried to intervene and ended up getting cut in the arm.
The younger cousin also had a pair of sneakers with him in a bag, which fell to the ground. The men grabbed the shoes and took off.
“If they did it one time, they’re going to keep doing it,” the cousins’ family member said. “People got watch out for these people.”
Another family member of both victims, who also wanted to be described, said he wanted the men caught before others are targeted.
“You see their faces very clear. I don’t know why the police no catch these people,” he said. “This is very crazy. I don’t understand.”
The 18-yer-old told CBS2 he has been selling sneakers through social media for a year and has never once had a problem. He said he will now have to rethink the appropriate public places to conduct such exchanges.