A 46-year-old construction worker from Brooklyn has been charged with robbing an elderly blind man from Queens twice in two weeks, according to the Queens District Attorney's office.
Ronald Rhodes allegedly approached William Brandon, 73, inside his Queensbridge Houses apartment in Long Island City on the morning of June 29 and ripped the chain from around his neck, according to the criminal complaint.
Rhodes targeted the same victim on July 9. This time, he followed Brandon as he exited the elevator and went to open his apartment door. Rhodes allegedly placed his hand over Brandon's mouth and pushed him inside. Rhodes allegedly choked Brandon until he lost consciousness. When the victim awoke, he noticed his keys, cell phone and cash were missing and the lock on his closet door was broken.
"The victim in this case was a 73-year-old blind man whom the defendant allegedly preyed upon because of his disability – believing that identification would prove difficult," said District Attorney Richard Brown. "However, there were electronic eyes throughout the public housing development where the victim lived which are alleged to have recorded the defendant’s movements."
Rhodes was charged with first and second-degree burglary, second and third-degree robbery, criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation and fourth-degree criminal mischief. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.