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Thugs Mug Autistic Teen In Manhattan

Police say thieves robbed schoolboy of $4 and a phone. 

NEW YORK— An apparently disabled man and an accomplice attacked a 14-year-old autistic boy in Lower Manhattan.

The incident took place Nov. 14 on Lafayette Street at about 11:30 a.m.

According to the police, one thief, seen limping, forced the boy against scaffolding, while the other robbed him.

The suspects are also accused of repeatedly punching the victim in the face before seizing his bag and jacket.

The mugging reportedly netted thieves a mobile phone, wallet and $4 in cash.

The teen eventually escaped his attackers and walked away. He was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

The police arrested one suspect, identified as Charles Destefano, 35, just a few hours after the incident. Officers are still searching for the second suspect.

Suspect holding the stolen jacket of the autistic teenager. (NYPDTips/Newsflash)

In the footage, the autistic teen is seen walking along the pavement, flanked by a man in dark clothing.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

For the week of Nov. 2-8, 2020 in New York City, felony assaults were up slightly versus the previous year — 375 vs. 365 — but year-over-year, statistics dipped.

(Edited by Fern Siegel and Matthew Hall)

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