CONCOURSE VILLAGE — Police fear elderly men are being targeted after the latest in a string of attacks left an 82-year-old viciously beaten and robbed in the Concource Village section of the Bronx.
Police said it was "touch and go" if the man would survive. He's the third elderly victim in the area since September.
He was punched in the head from behind and fell to the ground 5.45 a.m. Wednesday after leaving a bodega near 158th Street and Concourse Village West, just steps from the Concourse Village apartment towers, according to police.
The attacker pulled money from the man's pocket, then fled the scene, police said.
The fall caused “severe hemorrhaging” to the elderly victim's head and he was rushed to Lincoln Hospital.
Inspector Kevin Catalina, commander of the 44th Precinct, said at a precinct council meeting Wednesday night the man was fighting for his life.
The other victims were attacked in the same general area in the early morning.
"Based on the time and that it’s older people, it could be the same person,” Catalina told the council.
In September, an older man was stabbed to death and robbed in the early morning at 165th Street and Gerard Avenue, less than a mile from the most recent attack, according to Catalina.
Then, about three to four months later, a maintenance worker in one of the Concourse Village apartment towers was attacked as he left another nearby bodega on his way to the building, Catalina said.
The worker, who building tenants said was in his late 50s with a slight build, was also stabbed and robbed, but he survived and is now back at work.
Catalina emphasized at the meeting that the idea of a connection between the attacks was at this stage only “speculation." But, he said, “we’re putting the information out there so that everyone’s aware of it.”
The police have not made arrests in any of the cases or identified any suspects.
Marie McCullough, a retired nurse who has lived in the Concourse Village towers for the past 30 years, said the most recent attack reinforced the need to be vigilant when leaving her apartment.
She already takes a cab when she leaves home in the dark, changes her route each day when walking home and never wears her best jewelry in public.
“You hope they will get that person,” McCullough said, “but you know there are predators out here all the time.”