Man Arrested for Robbery that Left Professor in a Coma


A surveillance image from Citibank shows the assailant attacking Kim.

Police arrested Matthew Lee, a 50-year-old man from West 90th Street, on Wednesday for a robbery on Sunday that left 87-year-old professor Young Kun Kim in extremely critical condition.

Kim was in a coma, the Daily News reported, after police say Lee punched him during a robbery at the Citibank on Broadway between 96th and 97th Street on Sunday.

Reporters asked him about the crime as he was being escorted from the police precinct on Wednesday, the News reported.

“I don’t remember,” Lee responded when asked if he recalled attacking Young Kun Kim.

Lee then offered, “You have to talk to my lawyer. Something is not right. Bad spirits or something,” when asked if he could dispute the footage police had of the vicious assault that left Kun Kim brain dead.

NEWS | 34 comments | permalink
    1. Veronica says:

      They got this guy fast. Cops, gotta love them,

    2. geoff says:

      coma, or brain dead?

    3. Carlos says:

      Well done by the police to find this evil man so quickly. Now let’s work to prevent horrible crimes like this from happening again.

      Best wishes for a speedy recovery for the victim.

    4. UWSHebrew says:

      Great job NYPD! I am heartbroken to hear that the Professor is brain dead, this is truly awful. Is there a charge higher than “assualt” and lower than murder for making someone brain dead? What is the max sentence this trash can get for his crime?

      • Sarah says:

        If they shut off the life support–as they probably will, eventually, if the victim’s condition is being reported accurately–the man will die. And his assailant will be charged with murder. Just because you don’t die right away doesn’t mean it’s not murder.

    5. B.W. says:

      In broad daylight, no less. Heartbreaking. My thoughts are with Mr. Kim’s family.

      • Independent says:

        “In broad daylight, no less.”

        Yes, the time that it occurred does make this incident particularly shocking, doesn’t it?

        It will be interesting to see what, if any, record of past criminality will be revealed for the apprehended individual.

        In the immortal words of a late, iconic master of radio artistry (paraphrasing from memory),

        Once an individual has served notice that he is not fit to live amongst us; that he is here not to contribute to society but to detract from it; that he is here to kill, to steal, to rape, to maraud, to plunder….then it is time to remove that individual from society…

        And yet, and yet…

    6. Rob G. says:

      I hope he gets to enjoy Rikers before it closes. Throw away the key please. This guy has no place in our society.

    7. Jimbo says:

      Great job by my BROTHERS IN BLUE.This scumbag should get a VERY LONG sentence.

    8. Ben Daivd says:

      Great work by the brave men and women of the NYPD! Thank you, NYPD.
      Now let’see if a judge will lock him up for more than a few months … ?

    9. NYYgirl says:

      I grew up and still live in this area. Even clearly remembering what used to go on around here, to read about this particular case left me shocked and appalled. Good riddance to this brutal criminal. We would like to see the book thrown at him and then some. Hoping that poor Mr. Kim can recover somehow, and sending all good wishes to him and his family. Just downright awful. If anyone knows of any way to help…to donate towards his bills or to aid his family please post a link on this site if it’s possible.

    10. biffmeister says:

      Human garbage.

    11. UWCider says:

      Correction: He is not a man, he is a petty thief and a low life criminal.

    12. Candice Tucker says:

      Bad spirits, indeed.

    13. Nancy Wight says:

      Three cheers for the police!!

    14. BillyNYC says:

      It’s time to put Security back in the ATM Bank locations.
      What a shame… there’s only lowlifes trying to ruin someone’s wonderful life on this planet, so sad. We have to teach our senior citizens to be more aware of there surroundings.

    15. Sad and Angry says:

      I wish I could beat this POS until he’s in a coma. Who does this to an 87 year old? I hope he rots in jail for the rest of his life.
      Thanks NYPD.

    16. Sarah says:

      This confirms what I thought earlier–this guy is probably seriously mentally ill. Fifty-year-old men in their right minds do not randomly beat seniors to death for less than $500, then say things like that about it. Which doesn’t lessen the tragedy for Prof. Kim one bit. It doubles it, in fact, because it means it was all the more unnecessary.

      WSR, I hope you can find out if there is some kind of fundraiser for his family/health care needs. This is probably the most heartbreaking crime in this neighborhood since I moved here a few years ago.

    17. Debbie says:

      I hope they lock him up and throw away the
      key! You have to be really depraved to do this
      to an 87 year old. Bad enough to rob
      him, but why did he need to beat him?
      He probably would have given him the
      money anyway. Unspeakably despicable.
      He had no mercy for this man; the courts
      should have none for him.

    18. Cintra says:

      Thanks for the Public’s help, the police was able to get this low life off the street. My prayers & thoughts are with Professor Kim & his family.

    19. Poor Professor is DEAD!
      Same excuse that my “mugger” used in his defense after leaving me bloody and beaten up. The jury let him free since I was branded, by his lawyer, as a “White Vigilante” who hated blacks. 24th Precinct did EVERYTHING possible to prevent me from going to court, as well as the D.A. Why, I found out later: To keep the Crime Stats – DOWN!! Drugs are rampant in our neighborhood and are sold openly (101St & B’way)….I know…I live there and it’s a major reason for the horrors we encounter on a daily basis. The PC correct idiots will change their tune about their “Poor Misunderstood Criminals” when they too are maimed or killed.

      • UWSHebrew says:

        Last summer, I was mocked and ridiculed on here for stating that the sidewalks are littered with dime bags on the weekends exactly where you just stated — 101st and Broadway, as well as 102nd – 104th and Columbus. Comments were “you are exaggerating/lying, I live there, get a life, if you don’t like it, move, etc”. For some readers of this page, they think if you are disgusted and point out the crime of certain parts of this area, you are a racist. Now an innocent member of our community is dead. DEAD. He leaves behind grieving family, friends, neighbors, students. I hate this person for killing Dr. Kim.

    20. henry h. five says:

      Obviously this would occur north of 86th Street. Horrible story, well done NYPD!

    21. Rev J says:

      I’m so glad they found him, bad spirits indeed, this event keeps haunting me. I keep thinking of how strong and successful this man was to still be teaching at 87 and what an injustice to have been so brutally attacked. Yesterday I was on 96th just around the corner from the Citibank and heard a scream as a man grabbed a teen girl’s purse and took off toward Amsterdam. She was in line to get on the bus at 8:30 in the morning! Come on! Things can’t be that desperate out there, can they??
      She ran up the hill with several people behind her to help and he was running while holding his black hoodie over his head, the police were by the church and alerted but I think the guy got away.
      I’ll be more aware with my purse and phone now but this is not a hearteningly safe series of events. Kudos to those who ran with this victim. We need to look out for each other. And also ask why this is happening more often and what we can do to help these sick and desperate people.

    22. AC says:

      Kudos and more recognition to the tipster who ‘handed’ this guy over to the police!

    23. Maggiemay241 says:

      The Daily News reported that Young Kun Kim had died as a result of his injuries. I still don’t understand how this happened in daylight. I’ve seen security guards at that Citibank branch many times. What a horrific tragedy.

    24. Jodi says:

      He’s now a killer. Sadly Mr. Kim just died. What a horrible thing.

    25. ZoomZoom says:

      Just read that the man died of his wounds.
      If this piece of garbage criminal that beat him up is found guilty – put him to death.
      Finally the death sentence should be executed in NY state.
      Rest in Peace old man. You deserved better.

    26. mmgl says:

      September 21, 1972 Columbia Professor Slain in

      I cannot help but remember this incident right now.

      //www.nytimes.com/1972/09/21/archives/professor-slain-in-mugging-here-witnesses-see-three-youths-stab-dr.html

    27. mmgl says:

      September 21, 1972 Columbia Professor Slain in Mugging.

      I cannot help but remember this incident right now.

      //www.nytimes.com/1972/09/21/archives/professor-slain-in-mugging-here-witnesses-see-three-youths-stab-dr.html

      • Scott says:

        I went to that link and there was an interesting item in it: the shooting of Columbia Dean Henry Coleman in 1972. I’m embarrassed to say I had never heard of this. And there’s no record of his shooter, Eldridge McKinney, ever being caught, convicted and sentenced. The NYS inmate database has no record of an Eldridge McKinney ever serving time. Incredible.

    28. Ken says:

      Based on his comments to reporters, it’s pretty clear that Lee is not a well person mentally. Call him “human garbage” all you want, but the fact remains that our underfunded and barely functioning mental health “system” allows people like this to roam the streets with no caseworker involvement. That would appear to be the true crime here.

    29. Jay says:

      “I don’t remember.” Hogwash. Bring back public stonings and let us all express help this sack of garbage “remember”.