Sunday, April 29, 2007

A Discover Insanity Update:
Cops Nab Scumbag In Mugging

New York City's most notorious mugging suspect -- a man whose image was captured on a security video as he assaulted a 101-year-old grandmother leaving her Queens home for church -- finally may be behind bars, police said Friday. NYPD Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said the man, who was arrested for possession of a crack pipe, was also under investigation in two other assaults on women who were beaten and robbed. The attack on Morat made headlines worldwide when police released video footage from a security camera that shows her being pummeled by a man inside her building as she was trying to leave her apartment building to go to church.

A cowardly ex-con was charged last night with the savage beatings of two elderly Queens women, crimes that shocked and angered the city, cops said. Victim Rose Morat, 101, said, "I'm excited" that police are throwing the book at 44-year-old Jack Rhodes. Rhodes was charged with robbery as a hate crime - because his victims were seniors - along with assault, burglary and grand larceny.

Leaving the 109th Precinct stationhouse in handcuffs and grimy clothes last night, when the glassy-eyed, runny-nosed suspect was asked if he enjoyed beating up grandmothers, he glared at a reporter and shot back, "No, I do not." The second mugging victim, Solange Elizee, 85, whose wedding ring was ripped off her hand in Hillside, said, "I'm happy" about Rhodes' arrest. The NYPD assigned dozens of detectives to the case and showed every uniformed officer in the city the surveillance video.

The Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said yesterday the reward in the case has grown to $12,000 and that calls were pouring into the Crime Stoppers hotline. Most of the callers were telling police how they wanted to punish the crook, and Kelly urged the public not to become vigilantes. "That's why we have a criminal justice system," he said. The state Senate's Republican majority proposed tougher penalties for assaulting an elderly person. The bill, offered by Sen. Martin Golden of Brooklyn, would make a felony of assaulting anyone more than 70 years old. Currently, the crime is a misdemeanor, punishable by no more than a year in jail and that sucks!

To give you an idea of how much of a low-life scumbag this guy is, cops said they arrested Rhodes yesterday in Brooklyn after he tried to break into a car and they recognized him as a suspect in the attack. Police said Rhodes' rap sheet lists 14 arrests, for robbery, grand larceny, assault and drugs. He has 1995 convictions for robbery and burglary and three parole violations, they said. There are two criminal cases pending against him in Brooklyn - one accusing him of trespassing and the other of criminal possession of property. He was carrying a crack pipe when he was picked up by cops yesterday morning in Brooklyn, authorities said. A police source later said Rhodes was homeless.

With the love of a grandmother and 100% honesty, but before the arrest was announced, Morat stared at a picture of the suspect yesterday and told the Daily News she couldn't be certain he was her attacker. "I don't want to identify anyone unless I'm positive," said Morat. "If police caught the right man, and he can't hurt anyone else, then I'm glad."

"There are nights when I can't go to sleep," Morat said last night. "I'm trying to put it all behind me." The plucky 101-year-old woman who was pummeled by a cowardly punk has better things to do than relive the nightmare with Queens investigators - like play cards. Morat told officials at the Queens district attorney's office she was too busy to meet with them yesterday because of a canasta tournament. "We have spoken to her in the past, and our people were going to speak with her today, but she was busy," said a spokesman for Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. "She said she was participating in a canasta tournament." Canasta is a variation of rummy. "To tell the truth, I'm glad for her," a law enforcement source said. "She's not letting this stop her from having a life."

Grandma Rose is my hero. She took a licking but keeps on ticking! She has got that kind of spirit that you really want to see...the kind that doesn't get broken when the evil of our world rears its ugly head. "I'm not fearful at all," Morat said. "Whatever is going to happen is going to happen."

She declared that if she'd been just a bit younger, she'd have gone after the guy.

Now she's got some stones!