The NYPD has recently beefed up its presence in Greenwich Village, but it wasn't enough to stop an elderly WWII veteran from becoming the latest victim of the area's mini crime wave. The incident occurred around 1:30 p.m. on Friday, when an unknown assailant followed 91-year-old Eugene Schaffer from a bank to his West 12th Street apartment. Schaffer, who needs a pacemaker and a cane, had just withdrawn $400. The mugger slipped into the building behind him as he entered, walked past the front desk security, and joined Schaffer in the elevator, where he accosted the senior citizen once the doors closed.

Schaffer tells the Post, "I was twisting from side to side and trying to shake him off. He pushed me up against a wall. I received some scrapes and bruises on my forehead." The thief, described as "a black man in his 40s, wearing a black shirt, white and black jeans and white sneakers," took the money, but let Schaffer keep his wallet after he begged for it.

According to NYPD stats, there have been 43 assaults in the area so far this year, compared with 34 last year over the same six months. And there were 100 narcotics arrests last month, compared with 53 last year during the same period. In response to residents' fears about the crime spike, the NYPD has reassigned nearly 20 additional patrolmen and sergeants to patrol the area every Friday and Saturday from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

The department is also sending six horse-mounted officers, as well as a mobile command center and light towers. The Post reports "many residents blamed the rise in crime on New Jersey youths who cause trouble as they head to the PATH train. Others blamed Crips and Bloods gang members." José Gonzalez, an off-duty security guard who patrols with the Guardian Angels, tells the tabloid, "This is a whole different atmosphere out here. If it wasn't for the cops, it would be crazy."