Robber Stalks, Attacks Elderly Man: Police

Police are on the hunt for a robber who stalked and attacked an elderly man in the Washington Square section of the city back on July 4.

The suspect was caught on surveillance video at 14th and Lombard Streets in Center City stalking a woman with a cane as well as a man with a walker. Police say he then passed them up and decided to go after 77-year-old Bernie Beitch.

Beitch was sitting in a chair outside his home on the 1200 block of Rodman Street around 2:45 p.m. when he was approached from behind by the suspect. Investigators say the suspect placed an object behind the man’s back and demanded that he give up his wallet.

"I was the ideal target," Beitch said. "Just because I was sitting in the chair and that way I was amenable to him grabbing me and I had my back turned to the street."

Beitch says the man claimed that he had a gun.

"He came up to me, wrapped his arm around me so I couldn't get up and stuck something in my ribs," Beitch said. "He said, 'give me your wallet and I won't shoot you.'"

Police say the robber was actually holding a rock which he still he used as a weapon. The robber struck Beitch in the back with the rock. Police say the two men then began to struggle until Beitch fell to the ground. The suspect then allegedly went into the Beitch’s pockets and grabbed his wallet, which contained several credit cards, ID, $300 in cash and an iPhone 5.

Police say the suspect then fled on foot and was spotted running west on Rodman Street and then north on 13th Street. Beitch suffered several abrasions to his knees and elbows as well as cracked ribs during the attack.

"I feel abused," Beitch said. "This is a very nice neighborhood."

The suspect is described as a slender, 50-year-old man standing 5-foot-10 with grayish hair and a salt and pepper beard. Police also say he was wearing a white and black checkered shirt.

If you have any information on his whereabouts, please call Philadelphia Police.

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