MIAMI (CBS4) – Miami Police say they have the man responsible for robbing a disabled man on a Miami-Dade transit bus.
Gabriel Soto, 16, is accused of robbing the wheelchair-bound man, Freddie Handy, on July 22nd,
Police say the pair struck up a conversation while riding the bus.
“On the bus, he was so friendly! So polite,” said Handy, who spent 8 years as a paratrooper during the Vietnam War. “[The robber] was telling me about how his uncle, was in a chair,”
Police say when Handy exited the bus at Northwest 22nd Avenue and Flagler Street, his new friend followed.
Once outside, Handy told police that the man asked 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 to CBS4’s Gio Benitez.
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.
“The last thing on my mind is that this guy was gonna rob me,” said Handy.
Soto allegedly made off with hundreds of dollars Handy was going to use to pay his bills.
Soto is charged with one count of strong arm robbery and one count of grand theft.
Anyone with additional information about this crime is urged to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.