2008-06-26 / Other News

Police Nab Trio After They Mug Man In Wheelchair

By Charles Rogers

You never know where it's going to come from; or when; or how. Nowadays, you have to be on your toes to watch out for muggers or thieves or assaulters or even emotionally disturbed people at every turn - or at any time of day.

Testament to this are the incidents in Canarsie last week in broad daylight, when three innocent victims - one of them in a wheelchair - were mugged near East 98th Street and Avenue M.

Don't be scared in this case, though. Police from the 69th Precinct got hold of the suspects and they've been arrested.

Police said it was rush hour on Wednesday, June 18; just the time of day when there were a few more people than usual on the road, getting off buses, walking home from work, etc. These three young muggers - two are 17 and the third is "underage," according to police - were waiting near the corner to pounce on the first victim to come along. They stopped a 45-year-old man, threatened him with a beating, and robbed him of his wallet and some cash before letting him go.

Ten minutes later, a woman holding her purse tightly with both hands was stopped on East 98th Street and told to "give up your bag" by one of the thugs. She readily did so, especially because she feared she would be beaten - or worse.

Shortly thereafter, the third person came along, wheeling himself in a manual wheelchair. The 63-year-old disabled man was forcibly stopped by the trio, who threatened to knock the wheelchair over unless he gave up his wallet. None of the three victims was hurt, police said.

Just after the third mugging, patrol officers from the precinct's Anti Crime Burglary Unit - who ride around the local neighborhoods checking for just such circumstances - were flagged down by one of the victims and, while canvassing the general area, they spied the three suspects.

They were identified and charged with robbery and criminal possession of stolen property, among other charges, still pending. No names were released, but police sources said all three youths live in the Canarsie area.

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