Elderly man robbed by hitchhiker fought back - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Elderly man robbed by hitchhiker fought back

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Andrea Medeiros


A hitchhiker begs for a ride in Providence, and when an elderly man picks him up, he finds out it wasn't actually a ride he was after.

Cut up, bruised, his pants torn up, Perry Cataldo is still healing after he was attacked by a hitchhiker in Providence.

"He started grabbing me and punching me, and in turn I started fighting him and punching and punching and punching him," said Cataldo.

The 78 year old was getting his daily Power ball ticket, Sunday, at a Laundromat on Branch Ave. A guy outside begged him for a ride, and Cataldo gave in.

"I never in my life, 78 years, with the help of God, let anybody in my car," said Cataldo, "I was brokenhearted to see this guy say please, please, please."

When they turned onto Veazie street, the hitchhiker grabbed for Cataldo's wallet out of his pocket. Cataldo fought back, losing control of the car and crashing into two poles.

"He got away with 75 cents," said Cataldo, "He got away with three quarters, he got away with nothing else."

The great grandfather, hard of hearing and living with his daughter had a secret weapon, he used to be a boxer.

"In a way it was good that it was him and not some other elderly person, because at 78 he's still pretty solid," said Cataldo's daughter, Susan.

And through all his pain, Cataldo is pretty pleased with his bravery.

If he didn't run I think I would have stopped him," he said, "I would have knocked him out. Believe me when I tell you, because I whacked him and I whacked him good."

Police are still looking for the robber, but we're told they do have some evidence. The man left his hat in Cataldo's car.




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