The victim exited the subway station at 145th St and turned the corner towards Convent Ave. while three men shadowed him around the corner and up the street. While on his iPhone leaving a voicemail, one of the assailants grabbed the phone from the victim's hand. A second assailant attempted to grab the victim's wallet from his jacket pocket, but the victim stated he prevented that from happening by swinging his shoulder bag around and in front of his pocket, as the third assailant punched him in the face and knocked him to the ground, punching him again as he was on the ground. Another pedestrian on the street yelled at the assailants and called the police, which prompted the assailants to start running away. The victim and pedestrian then walked back to the subway station to report the crime to two officers standing outside. The victim, shaken up and with a small cut inside of his lip, did not seek medical treatment.
While the crime was being reported, the police noted that this happens often in the neighborhood. The woman who helped the victim said, "I thought this area was getting better?" To which the officer noted, "No. And unfortunately, this tends to happen a lot, and often they will pick on people who look like they don't live in the neighborhood."
The victim, a petite Asian man, replied that he has lived here for ten years. The officer again mentioned that this happens a lot around here, and recounted a man who has recently been mugged three times in one month, who is now so frightened to walk home that he recently asked the police, who have a station in the 145th St subway station, if they would walk him home, to which the officer responded slightly sheepishly, "we don't do that," suggesting instead that "he move out of the neighborhood."
UPDATE: A Twitter from a friend, who attended a community policing briefing last month, reports that "FYI-Most Harlem robberies happen Sun - Wed. between the hours of 7pm to 1am."
UPDATE: A resident of Hamilton Heights who recently moved to Brooklyn after having concerns about a "lack of security in the neighborhood," recently recounted an assault he was victim to a few weeks ago, while walking south on Broadway towards 145th. He managed to leave the situation without getting robbed -and as happened in the assault detailed above- a passerby came to the victim's aid in this case as well, who scared of the assailants, and made sure the victim was ok, and walked him back to his building.
"As they got closer, I moved towards the right side of the sidewalk to go around them...one started mimicking my move towards the street and kept forcing me towards the street. As it came time to pass, I had to cut between them (2 on my left side and 1 on my right). That is when I was hit by a right hook by the guy on my right side... (full story)More NYC: NYC The Tumblr | NYC The Twitter