LAWRENCE (CBS) – Rafael Castellanos of Lawrence just got out of the hospital after two painful days. The 81-year-old told WBZ a robber who got away with only seven dollars from his wallet viciously beat him.
“He came up to me and said, ‘I’m Tio’s friend and I’m not going to hurt you,’” Rafael Castellanos told WBZ-TV. “And he said, ‘give me your money.’ I told him I don’t have money. And he said, ‘give me your wallet or we’re going to have problems.’”
With a black eye surrounded by stitches, Castellanos tried to make sense of the moments before he was viciously attacked and robbed on his daily walk early Sunday morning in Lawrence.
“I go on walks every day,” Castellanos said. “But that day I left the house too early. Because he was desperate and high.”
The suspect, 33-year-old Kalish Rodriguez, is seen in a video punching and kicking the 81-year-old before going through his pockets and walking away with his wallet.
Police said a woman who lived nearby shot the images on her smartphone. When she heard Castellanos screaming for help she called police.
When Castellanos was shown the video for the first time he was overcome with pain just watching.
“He attacked me. He punched me here and that knocked me to the ground. Once I was down I guess he kicked me a bunch of times,” Castellanos said.
Castellanos was transported to Lawrence General Hospital where he was treated for bruised ribs and cuts to his face and forehead.
The video led police to the suspect, who was quickly arrested a short time after the beating, on a host of charges including unarmed robbery and assault and battery on the elderly.
Castellanos said he’s grateful for the neighbor who stepped up and will now focus on his recovery.
“What’s done is done you can’t think too much about it,” Castellanos said.