Man pistol-whipped & robbed in Midtown

Victim reportedly robbed of $150,000
February 23, 2008 4:28:20 PM PST
New York police are searching for an armed mugger who beat and robbed a man of $150,000 -- right in midtown Manhattan. The victim is out of the hospital but his attacker is still on the loose.It happened yesterday afternoon on West 56th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, in front of a Starbucks cafe.

The victim, 50-year-old Seton Ijams was hospitalized in stable condition after the attack, which happened just after 2 p.m. three blocks south of Central Park. Police said he may have been grazed by a bullet or pistol-whipped in the head; some witnesses said a gunman shot him in the street before fleeing.

But investigators believe the whole thing began at Chase Bank branch down the street. Right after Ijam withdrew nearly $150,000, he walked out of the bank and headed west.

Witnesses say midway up the block, the suspect confronted him and grabbed the bag with the cash.

Bystanders say they saw the two men fighting over the duffel bag in front of the Starbucks cafe. The younger man then dragged the victim - who was clinging to the bag - down the street, beating him in the head with the gun, witnesses said.

Zafer Incekara, a limousine driver from Lyndhurst, N.J., said the gunman fired a shot at the man before he fled.

Another witness, Amado Delacruz, 34, of Bayonne, N.J., said he saw the attacker running away with the black bag after leaving the man in the street.

"You don't expect this. Not on 56th Street. Especially in front of Starbucks," Delacruz said.

Witnesses say Ijams - who works for a talent agency that represents musicians - put up a fight.