Ninety-one-year-old Hyman Silverglad is still experiencing painful reminders of the brutal attack he received on the Upper East Side earlier this month.
Silverglad told amNewYork Metro that he made a mistake on Feb. 1 — simply leaving his home overnight. According to both Silverglad and police sources, the senior was carrying shopping bags at around 10:30 p.m. on 86th Street and 2nd Avenue when the suspect — identified as 46-year-old Christian Torres of Harlem — allegedly struck. However, the near century-old New Yorker did not go down without a fight.
“I suddenly see a shadow behind me and he jumps on me and grabs me with two hands and then he begins jiggling for my wallet in my pocket,” Silverglad told amNewYork Metro in a phone interview. “I tried to hit his hand. I’m beginning to holler for the police in a loud voice and he takes his hand out of jiggling my wallet and he throws me violently to the sidewalk.”
When Silverglad hit the sidewalk, he says he suffered six rib fractures, leaving him in excruciating pain. And as he lay there calling for aid, nobody responded.
“I tell you it was so painful words cannot describe,” Silverglad recalled. “I remember, I say: ‘please 911, I am in terrible pain. Please call an ambulance.’ Well, they did nothing.”
Unable to stand and still suffering unimaginable distress, Silverglad crawled back to his home on his knees where he finally was able to receive assistance from three women who helped him to his apartment and dialed 911.
Nearly two weeks later, police apprehended Torres, whom they say is responsible for the dastardly shove that enraged many New Yorkers.
Torres, while being whisked away in handcuffs on Monday, told journalists assembled for his perp walk, “Don’t take my photo,” and said nothing else. Photographs are the least of his worries now he faces a slew of charges for the unprovoked attack.
60 prior arrests
Police said Torres had been on the lam for several days until some eagle-eyed cops performing a routine check of a 6 train at the 116 Street and Lexington Avenue station Sunday night recognized him as he disembarked the carriage, instantly making the arrest. He was allegedly found to be carrying crack cocaine.
According to records, Torres has been arrested over 60 times, a staggering number dating back to the 1990s. Between charges of robbery and burglary, he has also been found carrying controlled substances over the years indicating he is committing crimes to feed a habit.
“It begs the question: Anytime someone has 60 arrests, why is this person walking around on our streets?” NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell told amNewYork Metro. “I don’t think this person should be walking around our communities.”
The assault case became a personal matter for Chell. He felt compelled to visit Silverglad in the hospital soon after the attack took place, telling amNewYork Metro that he felt the victim could have been anyone’s grandparent.
Chell also lauded him for attempting to fight back despite his advanced age, describing him as a tough man and a great conversationalist.
“I had a great conversation with him. I got to tell you, this guy is as strong as an ox,” Chell said. “For a 91-year-old-person, I couldn’t even begin to imagine how he felt inside when he got attacked like that.”
Still, while agreeing with the chief that he is “no pushover” as a senior and cancer survivor, Silverglad also knows the reality of the situation and sees why he was targeted by a man he views as a coward.
“I’m very old and very sick, very bent over, gray-haired —A 10-year-old could beat me up,” he said.
While Torres faces charges of robbery and assault, Silverglad remains in a rehab facility with only one wish: to go home.
“My greatest wish is to go home. I pray every day, creator hear me, I hope my stay here is short,” Silverglad said.