2010-09-10 / Top Stories

Cops Corral Elevator Assault Thug

Stole Money, Cell Phone
By Howard Schwach

After three months of detective work, an Arverne man was busted last week for allegedly assaulting and robbing a man inside a Far Rockaway elevator, not knowing that he was in full view of a security camera, police say.

According to court records supplied by Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, Charles Wharton, 45, of 353 Beach 57 Street, was riding in an elevator at 1334 Caffery Avenue at about 2:45 a.m. on April 10 with Luis Acosta, a resident of the building. The two men were alone in the elevator.

Court records say that Wharton pushed Acosta up against the wall of the elevator, grabbing him by the neck and pushing his face into the wall.

At the same time, the records say, Wharton pulled a cell phone and wallet containing an unspecified amount of money from the victim.

He then exited from the elevator and fled using the staircase.

Detective James Schmalenberger from the 101 Precinct Detective Squad reviewed an elevator surveillance video and went looking for Wharton.

He was arrested and charged on August 20.

He was arraigned on a charge of robbery in the second degree.

Bail was set at $20,000 for his next court date, which is set for September 13.

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