A teenager accused of raping an 82-year-old Jewish woman is now in custody, The New York Times reported.
The police found the suspect, Asa Roberts, in a Bedford-Stuyvesant brownstone on Putnam Street early Friday morning. They believed he was going “backyard to backyard,” police official told The New York Times.
Working off of a tip from Roberts’ mother, the police went to Bedford-Stuyvesant where they went door to door until finding Roberts.
Roberts is thought to have entered the victim’s house while she was sweeping on the street.
Wielding a knife, the suspect demanded the victim give him money. When she said she had none, he stayed in her home and raped her in the early morning around 4 am. According to ABC 7, Roberts looked for money and jewelry in her home, stealing her pearl necklace and “opening and scattering her late husband’s tefillin.”
“He knew she was religious, eats kosher, keeps a kosher home,” a relative told the New York Daily News. “He made her swear on a Jewish bible that she wouldn’t call police or he would kill her.”
Roberts’ mother spoke to the Daily News in defense of her son. “I can believe the robbery, he’s been arrested before, but if anything he’s overprotective of women,” she said. “He’s been arrested eight times, but he wasn’t a rapist.”