Cops make arrest in attack on elderly woman

CROWN HEIGHTS - ? Police have arrested a man in connection to the attack and robbery of an elderly woman in a Crown Heights elevator.

The 36-year-old suspect, Cornelius Abson, was taken into custody after a veteran detective saw surveillance footage on television and recognized him from a similar assault six years ago.

The attack took place last Thursday, when the robber put 85-year-old Lilian France in a chokehold until she passed out inside an elevator. He then made off with her money and cane. The entire attack was caught on surveillance video.

Authorities say Abson made statements to the police, linking himself to another crime in addition to the attack on France. They are currently working to establish Abson?s connection to other robberies targeting the elderly.

?He?s made statements implicating himself in the attack on the 85-year-old woman, and one on [a] 67-year-old man last month,? confirms Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

Police say Abson even wrote a letter of apology to France, who is currently recovering from the attack.

?She could go home and feel a lot safer knowing that this individual is off the streets,? says Claire France, the victim?s niece.

On Thursday, the community in Crown Heights celebrated the arrest of the suspect in the robbery.

?I hope they find a jail cell deep enough for him to sit in that he will never be able to come out of,? says community advocate Tony Herbert.

Police say the suspect has a long criminal record dating back to the 90s, when he served several stints in prison on charges that included burglary and larceny. Recently, he got out of jail on parole.

According to authorities, Abson admitted he first learned how to attack the elderly decades ago from his cousins, who told him it is an easy way to rob people.

BKleaders step up efforts to catch attackerCrownHeights police patrols beefed up after attack

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