By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Police have arrested a homeless man for a robbery that took place inside Asser Levy Park during the pre-dawn hours of Monday morning.
The 47-year-old victim told police that he was walking near the park on East 23rd Street and Avenue C around 4:15 a.m. on September 30 when a 24-year-old man allegedly grabbed him and pulled him behind the park.
The victim said that the suspect was working with another person, who has not been arrested yet, and the suspect allegedly menaced the victim with a knife before taking his wallet and his phone.
Police said that the suspect and the other suspect also searched the victim further and kept him at the location against his will, then both fled the scene in an unknown direction. The victim suffered injuries to his face after the suspect allegedly punched, kicked and pushed him.
Police described the second person who hasn’t been arrested as a black man, approximately 25 years old, 5’10” and 160 to 180 pounds. Police said that the suspect has a full beard, a kiss tattoo on his neck and was last seen wearing a light-colored hooded sweatshirt with the word “peace” on the front, blue jeans, black sneakers, a red hat and was carrying a red backpack.
The NYPD released surveillance video and photos of the unapprehended man from inside the 7-Eleven at 333 East 23rd Street that were captured shortly after the incident.
The suspect was arrested at 10:44 a.m. the same day after the victim returned to the area with an NYPD detective, and he was spotted in front of the Asser Levy Recreation Center at 392 Asser Levy Place.
After he was arrested and searched, police found that the suspect was in possession of the victim’s money order. He was charged with robbery and kidnapping.
An attorney for the suspect did not respond to a request for comment on the case.