Police in New York City are now searching for a heartless mugger who assaulted a 92-year-old man and robbed him of his prized Bible and a pair of glasses that helped him read it.
The man, Ricardo Velez, a devout Jehovah's Witness, was also left with a broken hip after the attack at his apartment building in Manhattan, N.Y.
"The Bible was extremely important," Velez told the Daily News from his bed at Manhattan's Bellevue Hospital. "It was leather-bound and well-printed. I loved that Bible."
He explained in the report that he is so shaken by the attack, he is now uncertain about life which he once thought was "beautiful."
Velez said that he was returning from having dinner with a friend just before midnight on Monday when the mugger followed him into his building on W. 18th Street and launched the vicious attack that sent him flying to the floor.
"I saw him push me," a recovering Velez told the Daily News. "I fell on my hip on the right side and was trying to get up, but I couldn't. I opened the second door and started yelling, 'Help! Help!'"
The injured senior's longtime neighbor Radmes Hernandez, 82, heard the frightened screams when his pet poodle Sheila black started barking incessantly.
As soon as Hernandez opened his apartment door, the poodle dashed toward the sound of the screams where they found a struggling Velez locked in pain.
"Somebody mugged me," Velez reportedly told Hernandez. "Somebody hit me on the head. My hip hurts."
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The mugger who was wearing dark clothes and a red baseball cap, escaped with a brown bag containing the Christian senior's Bible and glasses. The thief, however, dropped a pair of scissors during his escape.
"I wouldn't have heard the yelling if it wasn't for [my dog]," noted Hernandez.
The saving neighbor called 911 and emergency workers quickly arrived on the scene and rushed Velez to the hospital.
Velez who said he has been living in New York City since he was eight, noted that he had never been attacked in the city before Monday and the incident has changed his perspective on life.
"I used to think it's a beautiful life, but everything comes to an end. And that's what the other day was," he said.
"I used to go here or there, shopping, everywhere," Velez added. "I have a bad habit: I talk to everyone. In my neighborhood, I love to walk around. Now I don't know if I'll be able to move around like that again."
The NYPD is offering a $22,000 reward for information leading to the mugger's arrest and wants anyone who can identify him to call their Crime Stoppers hotline at (800) 577-TIPS.