Suspect In Custody After Allegedly Punching Girl In Face Throughout Central Park Theft – CBS New York

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Police say they arrested the suspect in a brazen robbery in Central Park who was caught on camera.

The video shows a woman sitting on a park bench when a man approaches her and tries to take her iPhone.

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The 40-year-old victim tries to fend off the robber. Then he hits her in the face and runs.

Moments later, a witness can be seen trying to trip the attacker while he escapes.

Police are looking for a man who slapped a woman in the face and stole her iPhone on June 11, 2021 in Central Park. (Source: NYPD Crime Stoppers)

It happened in the busy northeast corner of Central Park near East 110th Street just after 10 a.m. on Friday, and everything was seen by NYPD surveillance cameras.

Police announced the arrest of Gerardo Rosario Cruz, 53, on Monday. They say he’s homeless.

Rosario Cruz is charged with robbery.

CBS2’s Nick Caloway showed the footage to stunned park visitors.

“That’s a shame. It happens everywhere, ”said Venus Mariani from the Lower East Side.

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“It shocks me. It shocks me, ”said a Harlem resident named Terri.

For park patrons, it’s a clear reminder that crime can happen anywhere, anytime.

“And in broad daylight. That’s awful. I’ve never seen anything like it here, ”Terri said.

“When I’m with my daughter, I always pay attention to who is around us, who is playing with her, who I am sitting next to. You always have to pay attention to your surroundings, ”said Louis Pauljajoute from Harlem.

It is crimes like these that make some residents feel vulnerable just walking around town. Venus Mariani is one of them.

“That’s why I wear my mace. My mace, ”she said.

“You carry that around with you all the time?” Asked Caloway.

“All the time. I won’t go out of the house without her,” said Mariani.

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Nick Caloway of CBS2 contributed to this report.

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