While criminality is by nature discreditable and deplorable behavior, there are certain crimes felt to be especially pernicious and heartless, such as sexually assaulting the mentally disabled, defrauding the elderly, and in a recent case at Staten Island, robbing a quadriplegic.
William Washington, 38, was robbed by an 18-year-old at his own home, an apartment at Staten Island, on Nov 8. The teen grabbed his one mode of communication to the world, an iPhone. He used the device with a pointer so it could speak for him using voice technology.
Washington suffers cerebral palsy, has no use of has hands or limbs, and said he felt helpless and “scarred,” from the incident. The youth stole the phone even while he was using it to communicate with a friend.
“You shouldn’t steal from a disabled person who relies on a special device to reach out to the world,” he typed on his computer last Friday.
His assistant, Robert Smith, of course agrees. “How could someone prey on a person in a wheelchair? It’s really disheartening.”
Washington wasn’t able to call for help or call 911. He was finally able to send an email to the police who then investigated and, using a surveillance video, were able to make an arrest. The iPhone had since been sold, and in the meantime Washington had to use older, clunkier technology, but his friends have recently replaced the stolen iPhone.