QUEENSBRIDGE — Cops have arrested a Brooklyn man for allegedly robbing the same elderly blind man twice after following him into his apartment in the Queensbridge Houses, police said Thursday.
Ronald Rhodes, 46, of Bushwick, was arrested Wednesday and is facing charges of burglary, robbery, criminal possession of stolen property and criminal obstruction of breathing, according to the NYPD.
He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted and is being held on a $175,000 cash bail or $300,000 bond.
Rhodes, a construction worker, is accused of following the 73-year-old victim into his apartment and mugging him on two different instances over a two-week span.
On June 29, police say Rhodes followed the victim from behind and snatched a chain off his neck. On July 9, he followed the same victim again, this time forcing his way into the elderly man's apartment, grabbing him by the throat and rendering him unconscious, according to cops.
When he awoke, Brandon was missing his keys, cell phone and cash, and the lock to his closet was broken, according to the Queens District Attorney's Office.
Rhodes allegedly admitted to cops that he followed Brandon and that he sold his chain for $50 to buy five bags of heroin, the DA's office added. After the second incident, Rhodes allegedly told cops that he took Brandon's cash and a cell phone, officials said.
The robberies outraged residents of the Queensbridge Houses, who called an emergency meeting after last week's mugging to call for an end to violence on the NYCHA campus, which has seen an increase in shootings this year.
Rhodes is set to return to court in August.