A 79-year-old man was pummeled by a mugger who repeatedly yelled at him to “shut up” while kicking him and pushing his head into the floor in the man’s Bronx building, the victim told the media on Friday.
“He’s not human,” Abraham Lopez, 79, said in Spanish of his attacker. “He’s an animal.”
Lopez said he had just walked into the lobby on Bainbridge Avenue near East 213th Street in Norwood around 7:15 p.m. Thursday when his attacker approached him from behind and placed him in a headlock.
“The guy just began to hit him — without words,” said his daughter Celia Lopez, 42, translating for him. “At first, he said, ‘Shut up.’ But my father [doesn’t] speak English so he didn’t understand. So the guy just began to hit him. He only [said] … ‘Shut up.’”
Following the attack, Lopez was visibly groggy and had a medical bracelet around his left wrist and a bandage on his right arm. His left eye was badly bruised, his eyebrow taped, and he had some scrapes on his chin and cheek. He said he feels “dizzy” and appeared to wince in pain several times as he spoke.
Lopez said the attacker kept kicking him and pushed his head against the floor. He tried to escape and shout for help, he said, but was unable to. He doesn’t remember who found him.
“We are devastated,” Celia said inside the home she shares with her father, a native of the Dominican Republic who has been living in Bronx since May.
“I couldn’t finish the video,” she said, stifling a sob. “It was so awful.”
Celia said she hadn’t slept all night because she was by her father’s bedside at Jacobi. She displayed a picture of Abraham in a hospital bed, with his face black and blue, his eyes swollen shut and a brace on his neck.
Celia, who has lived in the US for seven years and works at the Dominican Consulate, described her father as a widower, grandfather of five and former government employee who spent much of his life in Santo Domingo.
“I always say to my father, ‘Papi, come here. It’s better in the United States,’” she said.
The mugger made off with $220 and a cellphone, police said.
A red splash of blood could still be seen on the checkered tile floor of the building’s dimly lit lobby in the morning.
The attack sent shock waves through the sprawling, six-story brown brick apartment complex overlooking Woodlawn Cemetery.
“My sister is shaking in her boots right now,” said Raymond, a 47-year-old construction worker who declined to give last his name because the suspect is still at large. “For this to happen here at [7 p.m.] on a weeknight is very, very surprising.”
The suspect is about 6-foot-3 with a thin mustache. He was last seen wearing a black ski jacket, a dark hooded sweatshirt, a dark baseball cap, red pants, a camouflage backpack and black and white sneakers, cops said.
“We need to see this guy in jail,” Celia said, later adding, “I hope God does a job on him.”
Anyone with information related to this incident is asked to call the NYPD‘s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1–800–577–TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1–888–57–PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers’ website or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.
All tips will be kept strictly confidential.