The 18-year-old accused in the beating and robbery of a Jewish man walking to shul has been charged with committing nine other robberies, assaults and other crimes during a three-week crime spree last month, and faces a total of 119 counts.
Around 5:30 a.m. on July 16, 41-year-old Levi Zupnik was making his usual walk to Cong. Shaarei Eliezer – Torna on New York Avenue between Avenues J and K in Midwood, to open the shul and make coffee for the daf yomi shiur, when two man attacked him, robbing him of the bag he was carrying with his tallis, tefillin and siddur.
Video obtained by Flatbush Shomrim shows the assault, as well as the perpetrators walking away from the scene, looking through the contents of the bag and discarding them. The items were later recovered. Zupnik, who was repeatedly punched in the face, suffered cuts and bruising, and felt pain when he closed his eyes, told Hamodia last week that he has healed.
Police arrested Alix Dure last Wednesday, and charged him with eleven counts for this incident, including second-degree robbery, criminal possession of stolen property, attempted assault, menacing and harassment. A source familiar with the investigation told Hamodia that Dure has not been charged with assault because it is believed that the other perpetrator was the one who struck Zupnik. There were no hate-crime charges, as it is believed the crime was motivated by robbery not bias.
Dure was also charged for nine other incidents, mostly violent robberies committed with other perpetrators, that occurred between July 6 and July 27, in the Midwood, East Midwood and Flatbush neighborhoods. Prosecutors say Dure admitted to nearly all the crimes. No other perpetrators have been arrested.
In one alleged incident, at 1:20 a.m. on July 14 near Brooklyn College, Dure and another perpetrator beat a man and held a knife to his neck, robbing his cellphone and wallet, then forced the man to go to a bank and withdraw $100. At 4:20 a.m. the next day, at Newkirk Avenue and Westminster Road, Dure and two others beat and Tasered a man and displayed a knife, stole his wallet, phone and keys, then stole the victim’s car. The same afternoon, at East 14th Street and Avenue I, Dure and another man jumped inside a car, drove it a short distance then jumped out, and held a knife to the vehicle owner warning, “If you get any closer I will stab you.”
Cellphones were stolen in many of the incidents, but Dure appears to have a preference for new-model iPhones. In two cases, the victims were robbed of iPhone 12’s. But Dure allegedly told police that he didn’t like the iPhone 7 he stole from another victim. Android phones were stolen in two other incidents; according to police, in one case Dure said he “gave it back because it was an Android,” and in the other he “left it down the block” because he “did not want no Android.”
Dure, of East Flatbush, has been charged with 119 counts, ranging from first- and second-degree robbery to assault, grand larceny, petit larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, menacing, harassment and trespass. He was arraigned for the various crimes on Thursday and Friday, and bail was set at $100,000.
The top charges, two counts of first-degree robbery, each carry a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.
But Robert Moskovitz, the executive coordinator of Flatbush Shomrim who assisted police in apprehending Dure, expressed skepticism about Dure serving any serious time.
“I hope that a serial criminal like Alix Dure sees some serious jail time,” Moskovitz told Hamodia on Monday. “Unfortunately, with this liberal justice system, he will probably be back out on the streets soon, and continue to terrorize the community.”