2007_03_canasta.jpgThe search for the man who mugged two elderly women continues, as the police and politicians expand their efforts. The police have increased the reward for tips that lead to the mugger's capture to $12,000, City Councilman James Gennaro is offering $5,000, City Councilman Thomas White Jr. is offering $1,000, and the 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care is offering $1,000. A lot of money given that the mugger stole $65, plus two rings. Additionally, State Senator Marty Golden is sponsoring a bill that will make attacks on seniors felonies, so prison sentences would be much harsher. But prison might be cake compared to what angry New Yorkers want to do to the scoundrel.

Eighty-five year-old Solange Elizee, a Haitian immigrant, told Newsday that she hasn't been able to sleep since the March 4 attack. She said, "He beat me so bad. There was a lot of blood coming out of my mouth." And 101-year-old Rose Morat, whose attack was captured on film and seen by almost all of NYC, said she wants to get back to her life and not talk to the media. In fact, Morat wasn't able to talk to the Queens DA's office yesterday because she had a canasta tournament.

What is interesting is that the attack may also be a hate crime. Age was added to the NY State definition of a hate crime in 2000. Also interesting: Senator Hillary Clinton mentioned the attack in a speech to say that crime reduction should be a "number one objective" in America, only for the Republican National Committee to retort, "It's unfortunate that Hillary Clinton is trying to score cheap political points off the mugging of an elderly woman. The reality is crime reduction is and has been a top priority for this administration."