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Exclusive: Disabled Vet Speaks Out After Bus Stop Robbery

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MIAMI (CBS4) – Miami Police are looking for a robber they say ripped off a disabled man as the pair exited a county transit bus, and part of the crime was caught on camera.

The crime happened on July 22nd just before noon, after a man on the bus befriended a wheelchair-bound victim named Freddie Handy.

“On the bus, he was so friendly! So polite,” said Handy, who spent 8 years as a paratrooper during the Vietnam War.

Handy says he dislocated his hip on a jump, and years later, is in a chair.

“[The robber] was telling me about how his uncle, was in a chair,” said Handy.

When Handy exited the bus at Northwest 22nd Avenue and Flagler Street, his new friend followed.

Once outside, the man asked Handy to use his cell phone, then asked for a cigarette.

“And he dropped the cigarette right there. Then he bent down and picked it up. He started walking away with the phone, and I said, Hey! Where you going with my phone? And I was in my power chair,” said Handy.

What Handy didn’t know is that the man had already disabled the power chair when he bent over to grab the cigarette. Moments later, Handy says he saw a knife.

“He could’ve hurt me,” said Handy.

Now Handy and police want the man identified.

“The last thing on my mind is that this guy was gonna rob me,” said Handy.

“We see clearly his intentions were to befriend him and rob him, we don’t know what he’s capable of next,” said Miami Police spokesperson Kenia Reyes. “What we need is for someone to identify him.”

The suspect was last seen running westbound on Flagler Street wearing a black shirt, olive green shorts and white sneakers. He is thought to be about 5’7”, 145 pounds and about 20 years of age.

Anyone with information is urged to call Miami-Dade Crimestoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.

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