Mugging Victim Says Investigators Made Her Feel Like She Was ‘Asking for It’
By David Greene
BRONX, NEW YORK, August 16- A day of shopping and visiting friends became a nightmare for a mother and daughter from New Jersey, as they were attacked for a gold chain-- just hours before and blocks away from where the NYPD would hold it's annual, "National Night Out," event.
The pair were attacked as they stood on the street corner at Allerton Avenue and Wallace Avenue, at 3 p.m., on Tuesday, August 7.
A relative of the pair was with the daughter, a woman in her early 60s and her mother, who is 81-years old, when she turned her back for two-minutes.
The relative recalled, "The parking meter was about to expire, so I went to put a quarter in the meter and I heard a commotion and turned around, and I saw this young fellow in front of her and his hands were by her neck."
The younger victim and the young thief, said to be 17-years old, were both pulling on the chain, even after the two women were knocked to the ground. The relative came running and the two assailants took off up Wallace Avenue.
The relative stated, "She said the officers at the (49th) precinct were wonderful, but she was not happy with the district attorney. He made it seem like she was asking for it. Asking her why she was visiting from New Jersey."
After spending about eight hours at the station-house, one suspect was charged. The younger victim identified the individual in custody as the assailant who attempted to steal the chain, although he claims it was the second individual.
The two women were back in the borough at the Bronx Hall of Justice the following Thursday, at 9 a.m., for the first court appearance-- which of course was postponed.
The relative said of the situation, "Their making it easier for the criminal and if you have to stay eight-hours and then come back for a court case, they're making it more difficult to prosecute."
"The system is not fair," the relative added, "They were the criminals and the district attorney was asking why she was wearing jewelry. So now you can't carry a purse, because it could be snatched?"
Outside the courthouse the victim stated, "I lived in New York before, but it's worse now then it was before, because there are a lot of young people preying on the elderly, out of greed."
Residents say a rash of violent muggings and assaults have taken place around the area in recent weeks.
One area resident recalled an unreported incident, an attack by three to four males on a man who is mute, stating, "They beat and kicked him because they didn't like the way he looked."
The resident added, "He didn't report it because he was scared. A lot of things are going on around here that you don't hear about."
Wallace Avenue resident Jerry Honan recalled the recent robbery of a neighbor's cellphone, recalling, "He asked to be let into the building and the guy just cold-cocked him."
The suspect in that incident was described as a Black male in his 20's, with dreadlocks and wearing a red hat.
Honan added, "It's been busy around here with the violent muggings."
Residents of 2714 Wallace Avenue have a warning posted on the building's front door, warning them of the attacks and instructing them to call police if they see someone suspicious attempting to enter the building.
Residents of the building say the warning was posted after a woman was mugged in the building.
To make matters even worse, police in the 49th Precinct are also looking for an assailant who has slashed two victims in unprovoked attacks along Boston Road-- and robbery doesn't appear to be the motive.
In the latest statistics released by the NYPD, there have been 192 robberies reported in the 49th Precinct so far this year, up from 189 reported in the same time period last year, an increase of 1.6 percent.
There have been 173-felony assaults reported so far this year, up from 155 last year, an increase of 11.6 percent.
This year marked the 29th Annual, "National Night Out Against Crime," where residents are encouraged to come out of their homes and participate in a host of public events, in an effort to bridge better relations between the police and the community.
The evening was marred as well, when three teens were shot at the Haywood Playground in Williamsbridge. All of the victims were removed to Jacobi Hospital and expected to survive.