Authorities reportedly arrested a man Monday for mugging and violently attacking a woman on a park bench in Central Park.
Gerardo Rosario Cruz, 53, ripped an iPhone out of the 40-year-old woman’s hands Friday, punching her in the face when she resisted, ABC 7 New York reported.
Surveillance footage shows a witness reaching out her leg in a failed attempt to trip Cruz as he sprints away from the scene.
Another witness chased Cruz and managed to return the iPhone to the victim, according to ABC 7. The victim refused medical assistance when authorities arrived at the scene. (RELATED: New York City Sustained Its Bloodiest Year In Nearly A Decade. What Happened?)
Cruz has been charged with robbery, authorities said, according to ABC 7.
New York City’s overall crime rate surged by 22% in May compared to the same month in 2020, the New York Police Department reported. In May 2021, a total of 1,882 robberies occurred in New York City, showing a 46% increase from the 806 robberies in May 2020.
In addition, New York’s murder rates surged by an alarming 40% at the end of 2020 in comparison to 2019, with a recorded 450 killed. Following the racial protests in response to George Floyd’s death in 2020, the city cut $1 billion of the NYPD’s budget.