By Olivia Scheck
MANHATTAN — Police are on the hunt for a suspect in a string of muggings at an Upper East Side gas station.
The thief has been lurking near the side bathroom of the Shell station on First Avenue between East 95th and East 96th Streets, waiting for men to enter, grabbing them from behind and demanding their money, according to police.
The first known incident took place about 6:15 a.m. on Aug. 4, when the assailant grabbed his 25-year-old victim by the throat and stole the cash from his pocket, police said.
Nearly two months later, the robber was back in the Shell station bathroom, where he struck a 37-year-old man in the throat, forced him to the ground and grabbed his cash before fleeing the scene about 4:15 a.m., according to the NYPD.
The third reported incident occurred earlier this month, when the attacker again grabbed a man, this time a 33-year-old, by the throat and threw him to the ground at about 3 a.m. This time the victim was able to fight off the gas station mugger, who pulled out a knife, but eventually fled the scene without stealing any money from the victim, police said.
The suspect is described as black male between 25 and 30-years-old with a clean-shaven head. He is believed to be between 6-feet and 6-feet-2 tall and weighs approximately 180 pounds. He was last seen wearing a white T-shirt with beige shorts, according to police.
All of the victims were Asian men, police noted.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website, or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.