When the elevator stopped on the 13th floor at the building on Henry and Clinton Streets, and the 45-year-old tenant was just about to get out, another man choked him from behind. Two other men searched his pockets and robbed the victim. By the time they were finished, the victim was not moving.
The incident was all caught on surveillance tape, and Eyewitness News played it to his neighbors.
"If you hadn't shown me it I never would've known; my skin is crawling right now," said Eddie Rios.
The attack happened on November 23 inside the La Guardia Houses on the Lower East Side. Neighbors say the victim lived a quiet life with his daughter and grandchildren. He survived the chokehold, but understandably his family did not want to open their door to talk to reporters.
Neighbor Maria Martell came home shortly after the attack that evening and saw the police in her building.
Eyewitness News is told the cameras were installed only a month ago. They also captured the three leaving: two men and one woman.
Andrea Alvarez travels in a wheelchair and knows the incident could have happened to any of the residents.
"Attack me, I die," says Alvarez.
Families that Eyewitness News spoke with didn't recognize the three suspects, and don't believe the men live in the building.
No arrests have been made.