The 18-year-old man suspected of raping an elderly woman in her Coney Island home has been arrested. Asa Robert was apprehended after a manhunt in Bedford-Stuyvesant this morning; WABC 7 reports he was "caught climbing a fence in the rear of a school under construction on Madison Street just before 4 a.m."
According to police, Robert allegedly entered the 82-year-old victim's house while she was sweeping outside, and when she returned and went to her bedroom, Robert was waiting: "The suspect, who was hiding inside the bedroom, then assaulted the victim and demanded money at knifepoint. The victim did not have any money to provide to the suspect, and he remained inside the apartment for several hours."
The victim reportedly knew Robert; a relative said, "He would kill her. She treated him like a grandson, and then he raped her right before he left. He's an animal and need to be taken off the streets," and added that the victim's neck is covered in bruises, "He took an 82-year-old, 95-pound woman and held her by her neck. And slammed her into the ceiling and dragged her by her hair, threw her into a wall and broke the clock like an animal."
The victim apparently offered to cook him a meal, to distract him, but he refused.
Robert was allegedly looking for money and jewelry and, WABC 7 reports, "open[ed] and scatter[ed] her late husband's Tefillin, which are sacred religious items used during prayer." Also: "The victim couldn't fight back after breaking her wrist recently, her arm still in a cast. She also can't hear well, and so Robert allegedly used a notepad to write down his demands, which included an order not to call police." The relative said, "He knew she was religious, eats kosher, keeps a kosher home. He made her swear on a Jewish bible that she wouldn't call police or he would kill her."
Charges are pending as the investigation continues. Robert's mother told the Daily News she couldn't believe he was accused of rape: "I can believe the robbery, he’s been arrested before, but if anything he’s overprotective of women... He was the type of child who was always fighting and stuff. He’s been arrested eight times, but he wasn’t a rapist.”