Robbery Suspect Caught After Broadcast E-Mail by Public Safety
by Anthony Viola
In an email sent to faculty and staff, the Public Safety Department alerted the community to a string of robberies happening on the City College of New York campus. The two incidents were associated with a man depicted below, who approached bystanders asking for change. His plan was to convince the victim to display their wallet, and then he would threaten them unless they relinquished their money to him.
The broadcast was sent out on March 31, which reported two occurrences that happened on March 28 and March 30. At the time, Public Safety wasn’t certain whether or not he was armed. Soon after the email was sent, Public Safety apprehended the thief after one officer recognized him on Convent Avenue.
A Public Safety patrol officer observed him on campus approaching another male. The officer who identified him from the surveillance footage jumped out of the car and made the arrest for trespassing. The suspect was placed in a line-up alongside six individuals who carried similar descriptors of the suspect. In accordance with the New York Police Department, the man who was apprehended was pointed out by both victims.
According to CCNY Public Safety Lieutenant Anthony Laperuta, the department is conducting a continuing investigation of other robberies they believe this suspect could be responsible for. “We are still working on closing out other reports dating back to July [of 2016],” says Laperuta. “The cases are ongoing, but he is arrested and in [New York City Department of Corrections] custody.”
Although the suspect threatened his victims upon robbing them, he was not concealing a weapon when the patrol officer detained him Friday afternoon. Despite the crimes taking place on college property, he was unaffiliated with CCNY.
“We care about our students, we care about our faculty and staff. We want to prevent anybody from victimizing our community, and I think that’s why the individual got caught,” states Laperuta. “As Public Safety officers, we get upset when we get these calls. The officers put a lot of dedication to keep our community safe, and the result was this. People don’t think we’re doing a lot, but we do a lot. This is a prime example.”
Laperuta confirms that email alerts like these are only necessary when more than one incident is perpetrated by the same individual. A follow-up announcement was e-mailed on April 3 to notify the community of the arrest.
See the original broadcast alert below.