Police say a 57-year-old man was assaulted and robbed inside an elevator in East Harlem Saturday morning, in what may be the eighth incident in a series of violent elevator robberies in the area.
The man 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.
Police have not confirmed whether this attack is connected with a series of seven other recent elevator robberies on the Upper East Side and in East Harlem, in which Asian men and women were apparently targeted.
On Thursday, police say 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 have released surveillance video of the suspect, taken after the first incident, reported on Jan. 17.
In each incident, the suspect followed the victim into an elevator and assaulted them, punching them in the face and head. The suspect then forcefully took valuables like cell phones, wallets, keys and cash, before running away.
The victims have ranged in age from 27 to 64-years-old. Each victim was taken to area hospitals to be treated for injuries to the face.
On Saturday, Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito and other community leaders held a press conference in East Harlem denouncing the attacks.
"This kind of violence against our Asian American neighbors, and against any members of our community, will not be tolerated," said Mark-Viverito. "This attacker must be stopped, and we need the entire community to remain vigilant until he is apprehended."
The suspect in the first seven incidents is described as being between 25 to 35 years old, 200 to 240 pounds, and was last seen wearing a black jacket and blue jeans.