LOWER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- A suspect is under arrest after disturbing video released by the NYPD showed the assault of an 82-year-old man inside a Manhattan bodega.
The incident happened just before 6:30 a.m. Wednesday at the deli on East Broadway on the Lower East Side.
Police said Thursday afternoon that 42-year-old Raoul Hyacinthe is under arrest and charged with robbery. Authorities say he is a panhandler who frequently hangs outside the bodega.
Officials say the victim was buying a cup of coffee when the suspect grabbed him, cocked a fist in a threatening manner, and demanded cash.
When the man repeatedly refused, the suspect punched him in the face, knocking him to the ground.
He then fled with the victim's cane.
The victim suffered a minor head injury.
Bodega owner Sammie Zerit said the elderly man has been his customer for years.
"Very sad, I wish I was here to defend him," he said. "He's a very nice guy, help children, always very kind."
Zerit also says the same suspect had been bothering customers the day before, and dealing with the mentally ill has become a daily occurrence for his staff and customers.
"Same guy, he was crazy in the morning, break a mirror," he said. "We always call the precinct and complain about people who hang in front of the store and drink, bother customers, especially old people."
The victim, who refused medical treatment for his injuries, was back at the bodega Thursday to buy his morning coffee.
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