New York City police (NYPD) are looking for an assailant who brutally attacked Ricardo Velez, a 92-year-old man, leaving him with a broken hip. In addition to the injury, the thief — who was armed with a pair of scissors — took the Velez’s bag, which apparently contained his Bible.
The incident took place on W. 18th Street in Manhattan, according to sources who spoke with the New York Post. After tracking the victim and following him into his apartment, the perpetrator purportedly threw Velez to the ground, stealing a bag that contained his glasses and — perhaps most ironically — the Christian scriptures.
“I believed he was getting ready to stab me,” Velez said in an interview with the Post. “I poked him in the stomach with my umbrella [and] he dropped the scissors. I dropped my bag [when he pushed me].”
The Post has more:
Velez said his attacker left him on the floor, writhing in pain, then took off with his leather bound bible, a bag and a pair of bifocals.
“I’ve had that bible at least 20 years. I don’t care about the bag. It meant so much to me. I can’t replace it. I paid $25 for it 25 years ago. I won’t be able to find another like it.”
Velez called for help, and a neighbor came to his aid and called 911.
Velez was rushed to Bellevue Hospital.
Following the attack, which took place around 11:30 p.m. ET on Monday, the Post reports that the man was taken to the hospital to treat his broken hip.
Authorities are continuing to look for the individual responsible for the savage attack. Video surveillance (see above) that has been released shows the suspect to be in his late thirties; he is also seen wearing a baseball cap, sneakers and a black shirt with jeans.
Currently, there is a $22,000 reward for his capture. Gothamist provides the breakdown of where funds for the reward will originate: “$10,000 from the Mayor’s Office City of New York – Arrest and Conviction; $10,000 from the New York City Police Dept. – Arrest and Conviction; $2,000 from Crime Stoppers – Arrest and Indictment.”
(H/T: New York Post)