By Julie Shapiro
FINANCIAL DISTRICT — Southbridge Towers residents are demanding improved security after teenagers attacked and robbed a woman outside the complex last week.
The victim, 35, was on her way home to 100 Beekman St. on the afternoon of May 5 when several teenagers knocked her to the ground. The teens kicked and punched her, then stole her pocketbook and necklace, said NYPD Officer Steve Rose, who works in the 1st Precinct.
The woman was injured so badly that she is now using a wheelchair to get around.
Police arrested Darryl Houston, 18, of West 152nd Street, and charged him with second-degree robbery, a spokeswoman for the Manhattan District Attorney said. Houston, who acquaintances identified as a student at Murry Bergtraum high school, pleaded not guilty.
After the attack, concerned Southbridge residents circulated flyers and packed a community meeting this week, which the victim attended.
The residents called for a greater police presence at Southbridge, especially near the Fulton Street Burger King, where the after-school brawls involving Murry Bergtraum students frequently begin.
“It’s just constant and it’s got to stop,” said John Fratta, a member of Southbridge’s board of directors, after the meeting.
“Southbridge is being held hostage by these kids.”