Woman, 85, attacked in Greenwich Village elevator

December 12, 2012 3:16:52 AM PST
Police in Lower Manhattan are looking for a man who attacked an elderly woman in an elevator in Greenwich Village and stole her purse, and the frightening robbery was caught on camera.

The victim, 85-year-old Yvonne Sherwell, is a petite woman who walks with a cane. And last Saturday, she was no match for hulking man who attacked her in her apartment building.

Police say that just before 11 p.m. the suspect sat in a chair in the lobby of the building on West 13th Street. He then followed Sherwell into the elevator, pushed her to the ground and stole her purse and wedding ring.

While still laying on the floor of the elevator, she asked for the ring back. It had been given to her by her beloved husband, whom she'd just been told that day would never recover from a massive stroke.

"I get in the elevator and he follows me, throws me down, and he took my new purse and the money and a credit card and everything," she said. "And here's my husband who is dying, and he took my wedding ring. And I asked him, I didn't think he was going to menace me. I asked him, 'Please give me my wedding ring back.' And he said no. And I said..., 'But my sister just sent me that purse for Christmas. Can I please have the purse back? Take everything.' And he said, 'No, I like it even more than you do.'"

Sherwell had never seen the man before, and she understandably felt that something wasn't right before the attack.

"You land there, and you're terrified," she said. "I didn't know what he was going to do. But luckily, quickly, he got the bag off my shoulder. And then he looked at the ring, and he got the ring. But it happened so quickly, but the moment it happens, you're absolutely terrified."

Neighbors were disturbed by the incident.

"It's terrible, really terrible," building resident Alyssa Quinn said. "No one should be targeted, especially an elderly person who is defenseless."

The suspect is described as a black man, approximately 35 years old, standing 6-foot to 6-foot-3 and weighing 200 to 230 pounds.He was last seen wearing a brown sweatshirt and a brown winter hat.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

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