A 94-year-old Bronx woman heading to her local grocery store Saturday in preparation for her traditional family Christmas meal was violently robbed by a man who threw her to the ground, according to police and a published report.
Police say the elderly victim was pushed from behind by a man at West 205th Street and Jerome Avenue at about 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
The thief grabbed her purse and ran away northbound on Jerome Avenue with her credit cards and cash, police said.
The woman declined medical attention at the scene, but she later told The New York Post that her cries for help from the ground were ignored.
"There was a woman walking toward me from Jerome Avenue and I was yelling, 'He stole my pocketbook, he stole my pocketbook!'" said Muriel Bernstein. "And the woman walked toward me and right past me! She didn't even look at me. Like a ghost."
Bernstein told the newspaper she got up and resumed her walk to the market, still in shock. After processing what happened, the 4-foot-8 woman walked back to her building and told her security guard what happened.
The guard, Kevea Ware, told NBC 4 New York the elderly woman appeared to be in shock.
"She was shaken up and afraid but mostly she was in shock," said Ware. "I think all she was worried about was getting back to safety, getting back into the building."
Ware said Bernstein always walks around with her shopping cart and described her as a "real independent person, a real nice person."
A friend of the victim, David Glickenstein, also described her as highly independent.
"She's short, very feisty," he told NBC 4 New York. "She goes everywhere on her own, she doesn't like to depend on other people."
The great-grandmother told The Post she has both Jewish and Christian roots, and that she was heading to the store to pick up items for her signature holiday dishes -- Italian salami rolled with sweet pickles and provolone, along with fresh seafood salad.
Bernstein said she was born in the Bronx and has lived in her building on Paul Avenue for nearly 50 years, and this was the first time she's been robbed or hurt.
It's the second time an elderly person has been violently robbed in the Bronx in just days: last week, an 87-year-old man was tied up inside his Bronx home and robbed of $10,000. Francisco Perez, while not physically injured, was shaken up and said he no longer has enough money to pay his rent.