This story has been updated. See update below.
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Two people were arrested for mugging a 75-year-old man across the street from Peter Cooper Village at the northeast corner of First Avenue and East 23rd Street on Saturday night at 11:15 p.m.
Forty-nine-year-old Eusebiro Diaz allegedly approached the man and put a knife to the victim’s stomach while demanding money. The victim then dropped his cell phone, which was picked up by 22-year-old Emmalynn Sharf, police said. Diaz allegedly reached into the man’s pocket and removed three dollars and both perpetrators fled.
When police arrived on the scene, the victim positively identified Diaz and Sharf and his cell phone was allegedly recovered from Sharf’s left front pocket.
Diaz and Sharf have been charged with robbery in the first degree and both were arraigned in criminal court last Sunday. Bail for Diaz was set at $150,000 cash or bond and bail for Sharf was set at $30,000 bond or $15,000 cash. They have an appearance in court on Thursdayfor possible grand jury action.
UPDATE Aug. 18, 2016: One of the individuals arrested, Emmalynn Sharf, recently reached out to Town & Village, saying she wanted to set the record straight about her own involvement.
For one thing, Sharf said, the case, now closed, ended with her only being convicted of petit larceny. (According to the Manhattan District Attorney, it was a conviction of possession of stolen property following a guilty plea.) Additionally, according to Sharf, there was no knife involved.
Scharf told T&V the incident occurred when she was homeless and doing “wrong things to survive,” though she didn’t elaborate on the nature of those things. As for the alleged robbery, Sharf admitted that she and Diaz were trying to get money from the victim for returning it, but she claimed she found the phone.
“We were homeless and we were trying to eat,” she said. “We said, ‘We’ll give you your phone back if you give us something.’”
The pair arranged to give it back to the victim, who they knew, but when they met up, “he had six or seven dudes with him.” But, said Sharf, “The police never recovered a knife. There was so sign of a knife.”
Michael Durbin, Sharf’s attorney, also mentioned that his client has come a long way since the arrest.
“Knowing that she had more to contribute to her community, Ms. Sharf quickly turned to volunteerism, assisting an outreach program for the homeless in NYC, known as the New York City Relief Bus. While volunteering with this organization, Emmalynn helped homeless people in her community by serving soup and bread; distributing clothing, toiletries, and other necessities; offering referrals to places where individuals could get help for various medical and mental issues; and leading group prayer.
“Ms. Sharf knows firsthand how stressful and difficult growing up without role models and being homeless can be, and she takes great pride in helping others find the right path. To Ms. Sharf, people are defined by what they contribute in the present. She strives to teach those she helps that they are worthy and can make a difference though taking positive actions. Today, Ms. Sharf is successfully living independently and continues to work with charities for the homeless.”
According to the DA, Diaz pleaded guilty to grand larceny and was later sentenced to 45 days in jail. A spokesperson for the agency didn’t have information as to the presence of the knife.