New York

Elderly Man Beaten in Hate Crime at Jewish Nursing Home: NYPD

The elderly man was beaten and harassed on his birthday

A man walked into a Jewish nursing home in the Bronx, tried to rob an elderly resident and then beat the older man and yelled anti-Semitic remarks at him, police said Sunday.

Alen Califano, 41, of Yonkers, was charged with robbery, burglary, a hate crime, assault, criminal possession of a weapon and possession of marijuana, police said.

The 84-year-old victim lives at the New Jewish Home in the Fordham neighborhood, where his friend told NBC 4 New York that a new security guard let the man into the home to use a bathroom Saturday afternoon. 

Instead of going to the bathroom, police say the intruder started rummaging through apartments, eventually ending up at the victim's apartment, where he lit a joint.

Califano struck the older man with a cardboard tube and a fire extinguisher, all while demanding money from him and yelling anti-Semitic remarks, police said. 

"He has a walker, and he hit him in the mouth, over here in the face," said Eddie Morales, who lives in the building and witnessed part of the attack.

Police said Califano had many prior arrests dating back to when he was 19 years old. It wasn't clear whether he had an attorney.

Leslie Hoot, the director of University Avenue Assisted Living, said the victim is "a wonderful, kind and gentle man" and that the guard who let the attacker in has been fired. 

“This isolated incident is the result of an unacceptable breach of protocol committed by a guard employed by the private firm contracted to provide security at this assisted living facility,” Hoot said in a statement. 

She said University Avenue Assisted Living has demanded an incident report and remedial action plan from the security firm.

Friends of the victim said he's in high spirits and that he went out with family on Sunday, his birthday. 

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