NYPD: Robber Accuses Sleeping Man of Taking His Phone, Then Punches Him in the Face

What to Know

  • A 56-year-old man was asleep on a subway train when an attempted robber woke him up and accused him of stealing his phone, police say
  • The suspect followed the man, then rummaged through his pockets and punched him in the face, according to police
  • Police say talk of a stolen phone was just a ruse the suspect made up to try to rob the victim; he ultimately got away empty handed

Police say an attempted robber accused a sleeping man of stealing his phone before rummaging through his pockets and punching him in the face.

The 56-year-old victim was asleep on an A or C line train earlier this month when the suspect woke him up at the Kingston–Throop Avenues train station in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

The suspect said his phone was missing and accused the man of stealing it. He then followed the victim out of the subway station for about a block before attacking him near 1442 Fulton St. just before 6 a.m., according to the NYPD.

Police said the suspect grabbed the man’s bag, then started going through the man’s pockets and throwing punches at him. The man eventually toppled over and hit his head on a fire hydrant.

The fire hydrant smashed into the man’s cheek and he was taken to Kings County Hospital with a deep laceration.

The suspect got away empty handed, according to police, who said that the whole “missing phone” scenario was just a ruse he made up to try to rob the victim. 

In an ironic twist, the suspect’s actual phone was recovered at the scene by police.

The NYPD released photos of the suspect on Thursday. They said he’s in his mid to late 20s.

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