A suspect in a series of violent Manhattan elevator robberies that targeted victims of Asian descent has been arrested in New Jersey on a bus, heading for Texas, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Tuesday.
Police said Jason Commisso, 34, was found on a Greyhound bus on the New Jersey Turnpike and that he would be extradited to New York to face charges. Law enforcement officials tell NBC 4 New York that police tracked him through his cell phone to the Port Authority Bus Terminal and had figured he was on one of two Greyhound buses that left there Monday night.
Both buses were stopped and he was found asleep on one. He has refused to make statements to police, officials tell NBC 4 New York. It was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney.
Police had been looking for Commisso in connection with the robberies since they say he was identified as the man seen in surveillance video from one of the robberies. The most recent attack was Saturday in East Harlem, when a 57-year-old man was assaulted and robbed inside an elevator.
Kelly said officers from the city's hate crime task force and officers fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese were assigned to the neighborhood while officers searched for the suspect.
The man in Saturday's robbery suffered a broken nose in the attack inside a building on East 97th Street. The mugger took $200 from the victim, along with his wallet and his cell phone. The victim was treated and released from Metropolitan Hospital.
Two days earlier, police said a 27-year-old woman was assaulted and robbed in an elevator in her apartment building on the Upper East Side. Once inside the elevator, the suspect attacked the woman, then fled with her purse and iPhone.
Police linked eight robberies dating back to Jan. 17 to the same suspect.
The victims have ranged in age from 27 to 64 years old.