Mugging of 101-year-old NYC Woman Caught on Tape

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Mugging Of 101-Year-Old NYC Woman Caught On Tape

(CBS News) NEW YORK A New York City mugger attacked a 101-year-old woman, punched her in the face and knocked her over before making off with her handbag, according to police and a security-camera video.

Shortly afterward, the same suspect victimized an 85-year-old woman, also using a walker, police said Friday as they pressed the public for tips that could identify him.

The attacks took place in separate buildings in the Jamaica section of Queens last Sunday.

The suspect, a black male in his 30s, is wanted in a string of neighborhood robberies.

Rose Morat, 101 years old, was assaulted in her apartment building's lobby around 12:30 p.m. The suspect, who pulled a ski mask down over his face, was seen in security-camera footage opening the door for Morat before throwing a flurry of punches at her as she steadies herself against her walker.

"I was not unconscious, but I was startled, and I thought: What happened?" said Morat.

The suspect appeared to spit on his victim as he made off with her pocketbook.

About a half-hour later, 85-year-old Solange Elizee was assaulted outside her apartment a half-mile from Morat's. Police said the suspect followed her on an elevator and got out on a different floor from hers, but then ran up the stairs and confronted her at her apartment door.

Elizee said he had asked her in the elevator what floor she was headed to, explaining, "I like to help old people."

But as she went to close her door, he threatened her, Elizee said. She said the suspect also beat her in the face and pushed her down. "I got blood coming out of my mouth," she said.

Her handbag was taken, police said.

Morat was battered and bruised but unfazed. As she told Dave Carlin of New York City CBS television station WCBS-TV, "God doesn't want me up there, he wants me down here."

Both women said they would have just given the man money if he'd just asked them; instead they were both hospitalized.

The mugger's take? $33 from Morat, $45 from Elizee, along with her wedding ring.

"I feel sorry for him that he has to stoop so low to get money," Morat said. "The man must be a sick man."

"I could ask him if he has a mother, a grandmother, too," Elizee said. "You know something? I am praying for him."

The suspect was riding a reddish-pink bicycle and wearing a winter jacket with a fur collar around the hood at the time of the attacks.