NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Police now say they’ve arrested the man seen viciously ambushing 81-year-old Pablo Vargas in the Fordham Heights section of the Bronx.
Authorities said Friday 44-year-old Denroy Anthony is now in custody and facing charges.
Update: thanks to a tip from the community, the individual wanted for assaulting an 81-yr-old man in the #Bronx is now IN CUSTODY. New Yorkers helping New Yorkers, the cornerstone of collaborative policing with our community. #YourCityYourCall pic.twitter.com/TUE8GtG9YZ
— Chief Dermot F. Shea (@NYPDDetectives) November 9, 2019
That 81-year-old man who was brutally kicked to the ground spoke out Friday.
Surveillance cameras caught the attacker running up behind the Pablo Vargas – who was reading the newspaper – and kicking him from behind.
“It goes boom, I went down,” Vargas told CBS2’s Christina Fan.
Vargas – speaking through a translator – is still in severe pain after a suffering the vicious attack near his home.
“All of a sudden he hit me right here, on my right side, and I fell face first,” Vargas said.
The attack left Vargas with a swollen shoulder. His right arm is still in a sling. He told CBS2 he doesn’t recognize the suspect and is baffled and angry as to why he was targeted.
“This is the first time this happened to me. I’ve been in New York City 50 years and this never happened. This was a brutal blow,” Vargas said.
Police say Thursday’s unprovoked attack is just the latest of many happening across the city.
“That seems to be happening a lot around this area. Old people, they just get beat up for nothing,” one man said.
Last month, a woman was sucker punched in Harlem while smoking a cigarette. Families say the beatings are unconscionable and unnerving because they are unpredictable.
“It’s definitely a new low. Like, pick on somebody your own size or your age,” one woman said.
“That’s disgusting. That really is disgusting,” one person said.
“I think he should be able to get his butt kicked because that’s an abuse,” said another.
Detectives are asking for the public’s help to identify the suspect, who seemed unfazed as he strolled away after the attack.
Vargas says he’s just lucky the blow landed on his back, and not on his head.
“At least I’m alive but my back really hurts. The blow that I received, the skin on my back is peeling and my arm hurts really badly,” he said.