NYC man fatally assaulted after leaving coin store

August 24, 2011 2:01:14 PM PDT
Police say a 61-year-old man was fatally assaulted after he left a coin store in Brooklyn.

Police say Steve Halfon, of Brooklyn was pronounced dead at a local hospital on Tuesday.

"Sweet, kind, soft spoken," Angela, the victim's friend said of Steve Halfon.

"These people were unbelievably nice people," said Jeanne Schaffir, a neighbor.

Nothing but kind words and condolences from the friends and neighbors of 61-year-old Steve Halfon.

The Brooklyn coin dealer was snatched outside his Gravesend shop Tuesday evening and later murdered.

"I'm still trying, my body, I'm still trying to absorb it because I just saw him yesterday morning," Angela said.

A woman whose husband owns a pizzeria two doors down from the Liberty Coin Company asked Eyewitness News not to use her name because she's afraid.

Police believe Halfon was leaving for the day when at least three men beat him, robbed him and forced him into a waiting black Volvo.

One of the assailants reportedly took the victim's silver Lincoln which was later found abandoned just blocks from where the coin dealer's body was dumped along East 7th Street in Midwood.

An NYPD crime scene unit spent part of the day digging through a nearby sewer where witnesses reportedly saw the suspects toss bloodied clothing before abandoning the Volvo.

A canine unit was also being used to try and pick-up the suspects' trail.

So far, investigators haven't said what the men may have stolen. They are hoping a security camera outside the coin shop may provide some clues.

Meanwhile, neighbors at the victim's Ocean Parkway home say his murder has left them questioning their own safety.

"It's very scary. You're going to work and the second minute you don't know what's going to happen to you. It doesn't matter now if it's in the night or in the morning," said Ilan Kalderon, a neighbor.

Police say the medical examiner will determine the cause of death.

The investigation is continuing.