87-Year-Old Professor in Extremely Critical Condition After Violent Robbery at UWS Citibank

Police are asking for the public’s help in finding a man who they say assaulted an 87-year-old inside the Citibank at 2560 Broadway between 96th and 97th Streets on Sunday at around 4:30 p.m. The assailant punched the victim in the back of the head and stole his money, according to police.

The victim was identified by ABC News as college professor Young Kun Kim.

“Kim was known to eat at the same Upper West Side diner every morning before heading to work as a political science and Asian studies professor who has taught at Columbia University, Hunter College and CUNY.

‘This is the most vulnerable person on the planet. And you’re attacking him for what? For money. It’s just beyond. So I hope they find somebody,’ said neighbor Eric Schwartz.”

Police released the surveillance photo above and the video below. They describe his attacker as “a male black, 45-50 years old, approximately 5’9″ in height, weighing 150 lbs. He was last seen wearing a dark top with a white shirt underneath, dark pants, dark shoes, a blue cap, large headphones and carrying an umbrella.”

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

NEWS | 48 comments | permalink
    1. UWSHebrew says:

      what a coward. so easy to attack the elderly. hope this guy is caught fast.

    2. Patty says:

      Sigh. This is why I won’t take out money by myself.

      • NYWoman says:

        I agree with you – I will never take out money outside, or alone – also there are some areas that are constantly hit – I wish there was a crime map showing the ATMs that are “at risk” locations. It costs more, but it may be simply safer to do it at a supermarket, or where there aren’t so many “eyes”. I’m sure this gentleman did this for years with no problem – and so, thought nothing of it. Sad.

        • robert says:

          Go to the NYPD Compsat II page you can see a crime overly of a street map by borough, city or precinct
          At also puts to bed the faulty idea that NYPD is just hassling people by race at certain locations. When you look at the map you can see exactly what address, streets etc have the most crime and by type. Surprise those are the streets with the largest police patrol And street corners that have long been know as “hot” corners get a lot of attn. when people are just “hanging out” at them

      • dc says:

        I always go inside the branch and use the ATM next to the tellers.

    3. Ruth says:

      This is absolutely sickening. There are frequently people hanging and panhandling around outside the bank ATMs including this Citi and even camped out inside sometimes. I stopped using the old Chase on 96 st corner Bway because the same suspicious man kept “holding the door open” for me and others. I hope this degenerate gets caught. I will now be so wary of getting cash from the ATM by 96 st. I may not even do it alone. What is the world coming to. Disgusting.

      • Sarah says:

        That “suspicious man holding the door” was a panhandler. He was hoping you’d give him some change. Not sure how an NYCer wouldn’t know that!

        That said, what an awful crime. Just seems pointlessly dangerous (96th & Broadway in the middle of the day???) as well as brutal (I doubt he needed to beat an 87-year-old man unconscious to get his money). Probably an additional layer to this story…but it won’t excuse anything. What a way to end a long life. Thoughts to his family.

        • UWSHebrew says:

          by you stating “Probably an additional layer to this story”, you are re-victimizing the victim. if you cannot see how cut and dry this horrible crime is and who is to blame 100%, you are lost.

          • David Ochoa says:

            We’re not in a safe ‘bubble’, blue or otherwise. It’s just not as safe on any level anymore. My ‘sense of responsibility’ I grew up with, for our elders is doubled down now that I am elderly myself and keep a watchful ‘protective’ eye on our neighbors, to at least witness, if I can’t help. We have to be ‘woke’ to everything and everyone around us. I hope Professor Kim recovers and can resume his profession.

        • Ruth says:

          People loitering for hours (panhandler or not) around a place where people are getting pockets full of cash should be asked to leave when seen by police. I am sick of people camping out in the cash area. At the Citibank on 67 Street there was someone literally living in there every night so I would never go in to use it. It’s inappropriate and unsafe. I would welcome armed guards.

          • robert says:

            It is illegal
            Tell the 20th precinct about this and about what day/time and they will have their conditions team take care of the situation

        • EricaC says:

          I can’t imagine the additional layer that you’re suggesting. Can you explain?

          I do know the guys holding the doors are panhandlers, and they can sometimes be intimidating. I do not feel safe around them – and I think they know it and that is part of why they panhandle there in those locations. I don’t go into an ATM where there is someone at the door doing that, and if there is someone, I definitely would not give to them. There are other, more effective ways to help desperate people in any event, but even if you are inclined to provide direct help to people begging – which I am in no way criticizing as a general matter – I do not think it is a good idea to support this particular type of panhandling.

    4. Yael says:

      OMG! Find him!

    5. Christine E says:

      In the Citibanks in India, they post security guards at the ATMs. Apparently we need them in NYC too 🙁

    6. Mark says:

      I hate going into bank ATMs, it’s like you’re a sitting duck. I avoid them as much as possible and use deli ATMs where there are people. Thankfully my bank reimbursed the fees.

      • EricaC says:

        I understand the impulse, but the no bank atms are notorious for being subject to “skimming” scams and other fraudulent activities. You are better off going to a bank ATM during the day, or located in a busy location and monitoring the space before entering.

        This is a big issue in banking – and a lot of customers have been scammed using non-bank atms. I won’t use them.

        • Independent says:

          Correct Re: skimming.

          One wonders, though: How much longer before a cashless society? (Which I certainly am not without qualms about.)

        • Mark says:

          I’ve never had a problem – but 95% of the time I use locations I frequent. I’ll take my chances with “shimming” (skimming doesn’t work now with chip cards) versus getting a physical mugging.

    7. JerryV says:

      I don’t understand why almost all surveillance cameras take photos with such poor resolution. Much better optics are available. Furthermore, they are almost always taken from a height looking down, so that a crook wearing a hat cannot be easily identified. The bank needs to explain why someone with a simple iphone can take much better photos and videos.

      • NYWoman says:

        You are right – and in order to get insurance, it’s mandatory for businesses to get cameras. Maybe the cameras should be of the quality I’ve seen from Central Park cameras in order to get insurance – especially a bank.

      • Steph says:

        Great point! I wonder how often these bank security cameras have actually helped in finding any assailants.

      • Vanishing NYC. says:

        Citi and other banks should provide cameras that work.. not this rubbish that will be impossible to identify anyone from. Was a terrible shame. The world’s gone mad.

    8. David T. says:

      Hunter College is one of 21 campuses of CUNY, the City University of New York. This is a the basic infrastructure of our city. I love WSR, but I’m shocked that you report that these two institutions are separate schools.

      • West Sider says:

        That quote was directly from ABC News, where we linked.

      • Carlos says:

        An elderly man is assaulted at an ATM machine and this is your response? Really? And to use a word like “shocked?” If this is the worst error that WSR makes this year, that would put them ahead of 99.99% of news outlets in America. Get some perspective.

        I hope the attacker is caught and punished. What a horrible human being. And most importantly, I hope the victim recovers soon.

      • Cato says:

        CUNY has 24, not 21, campuses. http://www2.cuny.edu/about/colleges-schools/

        I’m shocked — shocked! — that you didn’t check your facts before criticizing.

        • Bogey's Back says:

          RE: “I’m shocked — shocked! — that you didn’t check your facts before criticizing.”

          Of all the WEB SITES, in all the towns, in all the worlds, David T. walks into this one….😜

    9. Mary says:

      I just used the ATM in the newly reopened Citibank at 111th and Broadway yesterday and there was a guard in there. He told me that there is always a guard there now.

    10. David Rapkin says:

      Citibank is a wealthy corporation that makes a point of advertising good service to its customers. Placing a trained uniformed guard in common areas near the ATMs wold be a true service to customers, especially the most vulnerable, the elderly.

    11. AP says:

      I know Professor Kim from working at the Graduate Center. What a lovely man. Find this moran who did this to him. He didn’t deserve this.

      • David says:

        I met Prof. Kim at a Columbia symposium I worked at as an undergrad about 15 years ago. This is tragic. Please let us know if there is any fund to help him or his family.

      • UWSHebrew says:

        “moran” is the wrong term for the man who punched an 87 year old man for his money. a moron is someone who is stupid. this person is not stupid. he saw an easy target as prey, and acted on his evil thoughts. this man does not belong in our society after committing this crime, and needs to be in jail.

        • Cato says:

          — “Find this moran who did this to him.”

          — ““moran” is the wrong term for the man who punched an 87 year old man for his money.”

          No, no, you’ve missed the point. I assume that the Original Poster was drawing a comparison between this culprit and Colonel Sebastian Moran, whom Sherlock Holmes described as the “second most dangerous man in London.” http://bakerstreet.wikia.com/wiki/Sebastian_Moran .

          My thoughts are with Professor Kim for a full recovery.

          • Independent says:

            While the reference is of a type right up my alley, I am afraid you are giving too much credit not only to the commenter “AP” but also to the perpetrator of this vile crime. Any individual who Holmes would have conferred a distinction such as “second most dangerous man in London” upon, would have surely been far more sophisticated and wily than a mere common street thug. The latter would have been no match for the legendary sleuth of all sleuths.

            At any rate, thanks for what appears to be a worthwhile link. Are you, perchance, a member of the Baker Street Irregulars?

            • independent says:

              I apologize in case my above comment was out of place on account of the solemnity of the topic.

              I am sorry to hear of the victim’s passing and I extend my condolences to the family.

    12. wombatNYC says:

      Speaking of dodgy ATM’s – The new Chase branch on 95th is a bit hidden and dark . makes me feel somewhat vulnerable

    13. Dana Desjardins says:

      Let ME find this guy… VIGILANTE justice!

    14. Sooz says:

      I hope he got a CAT Scan of his head!
      This happened to an elderly friend of mine and they did not do a CAT scan at the hospital and he later died from a brain bleed as a result of getting punched in his head.
      I agree with JerryV.
      Need higher quality surveillance cameras and placed in better locations for facial identification!!

    15. Bruce E. Bernstein says:

      i hope WSR can find updates on Prof. Kim’s condition. My thoughts are with his recovery.

      I too hope this guy gets locked up for a long long time.

    16. WestSideSad says:

      How horrible. I see the Prof in metro all the time. He’s quite frail. I also can’t understand why there aren’t much better cameras. HD cameras for surveillance are used everywhere else these days. Are the banks really that cheap?

    17. Jason says:

      Such a shame. Walking around the 96th street area lately has become a mine field of homeless and beggers. They frequently are in front of the 7-11, and the abandoned store on the corner of 98th and Broadway, not to mention all over the east side of Broadway between 98 – 100. Where is the 20th Precinct? I can’t help but observe that lately the streets are dirtier, residents cannot walk unmolested by the homeless, and the cops are nowhere to be found.

      • Rob G. says:

        The cops unfortunately can’t do anything unless the beggars are “outwardly” aggressive. And unfortunately CB 7, Helen Rosenthal, Mark Levine, and Gale Brewer are too busy approving homeless shelters and trying to keep condo developers out of the Upper West Side than to care about the crap that the rest of us have to go through just to walk down the street.

    18. Bruce E. Bernstein says:

      Professor Kim is in my thoughts. I hope that we hear a positive update on his recovery.

      And i hope they get the attacker and he gets sent to jail for a long, long time.

    19. Jimbo says:

      A crime of this nature should carry a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment(PERIOD)…

    20. AP says:

      RIP Prof Kim. I will never forget his kindness, humor, and goodwill when I knew him at the Graduate Center.
      He was one of a kind.