16-year-old arrested after assault on 68-year-old grandmother heading to church in Jamaica Hills: NYPD

A 16-year-old was arrested Thursday and charged with assault and other crimes for an alleged attack of a 68-year-old woman as she was heading to Sunday morning mass in Jamaica Hills.
Photo courtesy of the NYPD

A 16-year-old Jamaica boy was arrested on Thursday and criminally charged in the vicious attack that left a 68-year-old grandmother in critical condition after the teen shoved her while she was heading to church in Jamaica Hills on Sunday morning.

Detectives from the 107th Precinct in Fresh Meadows apprehended the teenager in front of his residence on 89th Avenue in Jamaica following a four-day manhunt. The incident occurred as Irene Tahliambouris was on her way to morning mass on April 7.

Photo courtesy of the NYPD

Without uttering a word, the suspect allegedly struck and pushed her, causing her to fall down the steps of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church at approximately 9:15 a.m. The impact was so severe that the victim’s head struck the sidewalk, fracturing her skull and resulting in bleeding on the brain.

The mugger snatched her handbag, which contained $300 in cash, her cell phone, credit cards and the keys to her 2006 Nissan Altima, which he also stole to make his getaway from the church.

EMS responded and rushed Tahliambouris to New York-Presbyterian Queens Hospital, where she remains in the ICU and was listed in critical but stable condition, unable to stand or move on her own. The NYPD recovered the vehicle more than three miles away and crime scene investigators dusted for prints that linked the youngster to the brutal crime.

While an NYPD spokeswoman was unable to provide additional information on how and where the arrest took place, police brass took to social media after the unidentified minor was taken into custody.

“Seventy-two hours after this cowardly attack in front of a church, this violent criminal is where he belongs, in handcuffs,” NYPD Deputy Commissioner Kaz Daughtry posted on X.

NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell praised the 107th Precinct Detective Squad for getting the young recidivist off the street of Queens.

“Absolutely shocking that this heinous crime was committed by a 16-year-old,” Chell wrote on X. “A teenager who had multiple felony arrests, robberies of women and yet he was walking around the street.”

The top cops linked to a statement from the victim’s family, who said they were grateful for the support and prayers from their community.

“She suffered a fractured skull and a black eye and is currently in the hospital, fighting for her life,” the family said. “Her condition is stable and she is showing signs of recognition, giving us hope. Irene is a loving woman who has always been there to help anyone in need, always happy and in good spirits.”

The family of Irene Tahliambouris thanked the community for its support and prayers and launched a fundraising campaign to help her get her life back together. Photo courtesy of GoFundMe

Her son Freddy launched a GoFundMe campaign for contributions that would help get his mother “what she needs to get her life back together.”

The family expressed their anger at the alleged perpetrator.

“We are devastated to even imagine the pain she is experiencing after being knocked off the stairs of the church, hitting the back of her head on the concrete while this vicious person, with no consideration for life, attacked her and took all her belongings and her car,” they wrote before directing their message to lawmakers in Albany.

“Criminals feel comfortable doing things to helpless people because the laws in our state do not hold them accountable,” the family said. “The recidivism rate of criminal felonies is high, yet the state refuses to change laws to remand them to jail or charge them to the fullest extent of the law.”

On Friday afternoon, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced her office charged the 16-year-old with first-degree assault, first-degree robbery, and grand larceny.

“The viciousness with which the defendant is accused of having committed the robbery at the church struck the city at its core,” Katz said. “As alleged, he chose to rob an elderly woman by first pushing her down the stairs and then proceeded to take her purse and leave her to suffer while he took off in her car.”

The teen has been separately charged in another case for following another woman into an elevator at a building on 127th Avenue in Rochdale Village on April 4 at around 10:15 a.m. According to the charges, he put his hand in his pocket and pointed what appeared to be a weapon at her. The victim gave the teen her car keys. He was then seen on video surveillance leaving the building and getting into the woman’s Toyota Corolla and driving away.

He was additionally charged in the April 4 case with multiple counts of robbery, grand larceny, menacing, and other crimes.

“He will now have to answer for the serious charges levied against him by my office,” Katz said, adding that he faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted and his arraignment is pending