MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Two people were arrested for reportedly attacking and robbing a man in Hialeah over the weekend.
The robbery occurred New Year’s Eve, just before 5 p.m., in a parking lot at 1300 W 53rd Street.
Stedman Amaya, 35, allegedly lured Juan Hernandez, 69, into the rear of the lot by calling him, police said.
Amaya showed up with his girlfriend, 30-year-old Michelle Pichs, and then asked if Hernandez could lend him $100, according to police. When Hernandez refused to give him the money, Amaya reportedly punched him and Pichs took his wallet, which contained $400, and his cellphone. The robbery was captured on security cameras in the lot.
The couple then fled. A witness took a picture of the vehicle’s tag as it drove off in. Police traced it to Pichs who was picked out of a photo line up by Hernandez and the witness. She was taken into custody. Investigators learned that the person who may have been with her was Amaya. They later confirmed their theory when witnesses picked his picture out of a photo lineup.
Both were arrested.
After bonding out, Pichs told a different story.
In an exclusive interview with CBS4’s Silva Harapetian, she said that Hernandez owed her owed her money and was refusing to pay.
“I went to see this person to claim some money that belonged to me,” she said.
“You see him punching an elderly man,” said Harapetian, showing her the surveillance video.
“I didn’t see him punching anyone,” replied Pichs.
“What did you see,” asked Harapetian.
“I didn’t see anything, I wanted to get my money back but older people are smarter than you,” said Pichs.
“Are you saying that this older gentleman, who your boyfriend is accused of punching in the mouth, claims you took his wallet and his phone, is mistaken or is making it up,” asked Harapetian.
“He isn’t making it up right now, I know what I did. That is, to defend for myself as a young woman, I took matters into my own hands,” said Pichs.
Pichs said when she met Hernandez at the parking garage of his home in Hialeah, she was in fear for her life. She said Hernandez knew what he was doing when he showed up to meet them.
“That elderly man is 20 years older, he knew exactly, that’s his residence. If you were in fear of your life, why would I be at your residence,” she said.
“What were you doing there in the first place,” asked Harapetian.
“Like I said to go claim my money,” she replied.
“Did you take this man’s wallet and his phone,” asked Harapetian.
“No, I didn’t,” she replied.
“Were you there when your boyfriend allegedly punched this man,” Harapetian asked.
“If you saw the video, you should know what’s going on,” said Pichs.
Pichs admits she she should have called the authorities but isn’t sure they would have done anything.
“Let’s say I gave you 500 and you decide not to pay me, where do I go, Judge Judy, where do I go, who do I claim that to,” she said.
Both Pichs and Amaya are facing charges of strong armed robbery and battery on a person 65 or older.