Queens senior centers announced yesterday that they will start offering self-defense courses in response to the two elderly women who were brutally attacked this weekend. According to the New York Post, Susan Simonetti, executive director of the Glenridge Senior Center, in Ridgewood said her center discontinued a self-defense class and replaced it with a dancing class last year, but in these troubled times she’ll be reintroducing it. Steve Kaufman, a Manhattan martial-arts instructor said he teaches elderly clients to strike at an assailant’s eyes, throat and groin if they are attacked. One of his students added that canes and umbrellas come in very handy.
On Sunday, video surveillance footage captured a shadowy male figure savagely beating a 101-year-old lady in the lobby of her Queens apartment building—he walked away with $33 and perhaps a sick rush. Rose Morat said she was headed to church (like a good old lady) when she encountered the man in her lobby. He offered to help her make her way out, but she declined. Apparently, he doesn’t handle rejection very well because the next thing Morat knew, the man was punching her in her face, again and again. She suffered a fractured cheekbone and spent three days in the hospital.
Meanwhile, police said they believe the same man attacked a second elderly woman in the same neighborhood. 85-year-old Solange Elizee told police she was beaten outside her apartment by a man who had initially offered to help her get home. This time he stole a whopping $32 and her wedding ring.
The NYPD is expanding its search for the assailant, who is still at large.