King's student beaten and robbed on Williamsburg Bridge
Perdew had been jogging on the bridge when a pair of African American men, both wearing cargo shorts and one wearing a red polo, approached him on their bikes and demanded his phone. After the encounter, Perdew sustained injuries to the head, face and neck and was robbed of his phone, SVA card and personal identification card.
Perdew was halfway back to Manhattan on the bridge when he saw the two bikers. One man waved to him, so he waved back and kept running. The men biked from the bike path to the walking path where Perdew was.
At first sight, Perdew said the men looked respectable, but he became suspicious when one man lagged behind on his bike and the other rode in front, surrounding Perdew. “Normally there are lots of hipsters and other foot traffic on the bridge, but it was emptied out that night,” he said.
The men threatened to shoot him if he did not give them his phone, but believing them to be bluffing, Perdew refused. “I told them, ‘If you have a gun, shoot me, because I’m not giving you my phone,’” he said. “I realize in hindsight that that was a really stupid thing to say, but my adrenaline was pumping, and I figured if they had a gun it would already have been pointed at me.”
One man then punched Perdew in the back of his head. The other jumped on his back, choked him until he collapsed, and kicked him in the face. “I figured it was best not to get up immediately,” Perdew said.
They then stole his phone, SVA card and ID card. Perdew had left his wallet at home. His visible injuries included a bloodied lip and some bruises.
No one witnessed the crime, but according to Perdew, a man passed by in time to see the two robbers fleeing the scene and noticed Perdew recovering and getting up. The man shouted to him to see if he needed help, but Perdew replied that he was OK and went to the Seventh Precinct police station.
So far the police have no leads on the criminals but are trying to track the phone. They’ve been unable to track the phone yet, however, possibly because the criminals have kept the phone turned off. Perdew has returned several times to the precinct to look at pictures of suspects.
Perdew shared some advice based on his experience and from the police: “Don’t run alone at 11 o’clock at night, and make sure people know where you are at all times. And don’t wear an ‘I heart NY’ shirt or say hi to people, ever—the cops told me that. They’re dead giveaways that you’re a tourist.”