Upper East Side robber strikes again

September 10, 2009 3:27:45 PM PDT
Police are investigating a series of frightening robberies on the Upper East Side.One suspect is believed responsible for at least four robberies within the last few days. In each robbery, from last Friday to Wednesday, the suspect threatens his victims with a knife.

The incidents have been happening between York Avenue and Third Avenue from 75th to 83rd streets.

The latest victim talked exclusively to Eyewitness News.

Nathan Perilo is a very lucky man. Even as his attacker waved a huge kitchen knife in the air and then slashed him in the leg, he still fought back and was not seriously hurt.

Police are desperately searching for the suspect, who seems to strike either early in the morning or late at night.

"It was weird," Perilo said. "I would never have thought it would happen in my building."

Perilo has the cuts and bruises to prove he was attacked and robbed. Surveillance video shows him entering the lobby of his apartment building last Friday night. A man with a baseball cap followed him.

"Just spur of the moment, I just thought it was someone that might have been delivering something," he said. "So I turned around and said, 'Sorry buddy, I didn't see you there.'"

Perilo said the suspect then grabbed his wrist, and he quickly realized what was happening. He ran for the stairs, and the robber followed, grabbed Perilo's leg and ripped his pants. The suspect then ran away with Perilo's wallet, containing only $6 in cash, along with several credit cards.

The 29-year-old went after the suspect.

"He had a knife, and he hacked at my leg a little bit," he said. "But it didn't hurt all that much. I took a look, and it was bleeding a little bit, but it wasn't a big cut. So I was pretty sure that he didn't want to hurt anyone. He just wanted money."

Police believe the same man has struck three other times, all on the Upper East Side. He's taken wallets and, in one case, $200 in cash. John Sved heard the commotion in the hallway, came out, and Perilo told him he'd been robbed.

"I looked, and I saw this fella ready to come out of the door, but he turned and said, 'He lies' or 'He lied' and then he left," Sved said.

Police say that in one of the incidents, the suspect wore an orange safety vest. So far, Perilo has been the only person injured.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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