Suspect Arrested in Rite-Aid Granny Bashing - NBC New York

Suspect Arrested in Rite-Aid Granny Bashing

Surveillance video captures incident on tape



    Surveillance video captures an attempted robbery at Rite Aid. (Published Friday, March 12, 2010)

    A homeless man has been arrested for punching a 91-year-old Long Island pharmacy cashier in the chest during a robbery, police said today.

    Nassau County cops arrested Shaun Collins, 34, Saturday night.

    Collins is a suspect in a string of heists, and also the assault of 91-year-old Florence Critelli last week as she worked at the Rite Aid Pharmacy in East Northport.

    Collins was nabbed after apparently  using the same move -- shoving a 60-year-old cashier to the ground at a Hicksville Walgreens -- before fleeing with cash, police said.

    But the suspect couldn't get the best of Critelli.  The feisty granny was behind the register when a man handed her a dollar for a candy bar on March 12.  When the register drawer opened, the man reached over and grabbed a handful of cash, police said.

    Quick to act, the wily elderly woman grabbed the would-be thief's hand and screamed. Then the robber punched her hard in the chest, knocking her down, before running out the door. Surveillance video (above) captured the incident on tape. 

    "He hit me good," said Critelli, who works at the store 35 hours a week.

    But the courageous woman, a 17-year employee at the Rite Aid, refused to go home early, saying she didn't want to just "sit there and be bored."

    At the end of the day, Critelli packed up and drove herself home even though her boss urged her to let her son come and get her.

    The mother of two, who has seven grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren, only has one request for police.

    If they catch the guy, she wants to "smack him."