NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A woman said Thursday that she is still living in fear after being mugged in Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan while breastfeeding her daughter.
As CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, Elena Sobina cannot shake the terror she felt when the man attacked her at knifepoint and her precious 6-month-old baby girl in the park.
“I thought he’s going to kill me,” Sobina said. “In that moment, I was — yeah, I thought this was it.”
The robbery happened around 5:30 p.m. Friday. Sobina had just finished breastfeeding her daughter, Kelly, on a peaceful hillside bench overlooking Riverside Drive in Inwood.
Police said a man identified as Juan Garcia, 31, was armed with a knife when he grabbed Sobina from behind and caused her to plunge forward. The baby fell face-down to the ground.
“She was screaming; panicky; like… losing her breath, even,” Sobina said.
Sobina said she grabbed tiny Kelly and screamed for help.
“‘Please anybody help me, help!’ I’m screaming very, very loud,” she said. “Then I said, ‘Take my money in the bag.’ That’s what I remember, and he put the bag from my stroller and ran away.”
Sobina said the attacker also took her cellphone. She ran and found a strange in the park who called police.
Officers quickly found and arrested Garcia, using the “Find my iPhone” app – which tracked Sobina’s cellphone.
“It’s never going to be the same — that beautiful feelings that I used to have living here,” Sobina said.
Sobina said she is looking for a new safe haven to spend quiet time with her daughter, and she will never come back to the park.
Garcia is charged with robbery, criminal possession of a weapon, grand larceny, and endangering the welfare of a child. He was being held on $50,000 bond Thursday.