NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The NYPD is investigating a robbery in which the victim was sprayed in the face with some kind of chemical, allegedly for just a few dollars.

“When he sprayed my face, he said, ‘Give me the money,'” victim Abdola Algardi told CBS2’s Nick Caloway on Sunday.

Algardi said it happened that fast.

The 59-year-old came home from work to his apartment building on West 184th Street near Broadway on Feb. 6. Once inside, the suspect ambushed him, spraying him with an unknown chemical substance and demanding money, police said.

A video released by police shows the violent struggle between the attacker and the victim.

Algardi said he resisted and used his bag of groceries to defend himself.

“I had two cans of beans inside. I started hitting him with it. And after that, I can’t see nothing,” Algardi said.

The attacker got away with less than $15.

Algardi showed Caloway the pants he was wearing. They were ripped as the robber went through his right front pocket.

“He took this side,” Algardi said, demonstrating.

Little did his attacker know, he missed a spot. Algardi said he had about $100 in his other pocket.

That victim told Caloway he moved here from Yemen back in 1992. Since then, he said he’s been robbed five times in New York City. Although he admits, this is the first time he was sprayed with a chemical during a robbery.

Algardi works at a deli in Washington Heights.

“I work hard for my family,” Algardi said, adding he wishes the attacker worked for a living, instead of stealing.

The victim suffered some irritation to the face and hands from that chemical spray.

The suspect, shown in the video in the black hooded jacket and blue jeans, eventually fled the scene.

Police are now asking the public for help in identifying and finding that robber.

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 (74682), logging onto the Crime stoppers website at, or by texting tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enterings TIP577.


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