Sept. 30, 2020 By Allie Griffin
A 58-year-old Brooklyn man and registered sex offender was indicted on burglary, robbery and other charges Wednesday for robbing and strangling two Rego Park women in separate July attacks.
Richard Smalls, of Sunset Park, was arraigned before a Queens Supreme Court judge today on an eight-count indictment for the two attacks.
Smalls, a registered sex offender, is accused of attacking and robbing a 50-year-old woman on July 3 and attacking and robbing a 72-year-old woman on July 28. Each woman was robbed in their apartment buildings.
In the first robbery, he followed the 50-year-old into the elevator of her apartment building on Wetherole Street around 4 p.m. When the elevator doors closed, Smalls shoved the woman into a corner and strangled her with his arm around her neck, while demanding she give him her belongings. He stole a ring off her finger and bolted from the building, according to the charges.
Weeks later, Smalls struck again — this time inside the lobby of an apartment building on 64th Avenue. He grabbed the 72-year-old woman from behind as she was checking her mail and wrapped his arm around her neck, choking her. He told the woman to shut up and hand over her bag, the charges state.
Smalls took off with the woman’s watch, three rings and $60 in cash before fleeing, according to the charges.
“The women who were attacked and robbed, allegedly by this defendant, should have been safe in the confines of the buildings they call home,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said. “This defendant is accused of lying in wait and seizing on a moment to attack and choke them and steal their possessions.”
Smalls is charged with burglary in the first and second degree, robbery in the second and third degree, strangulation in the second degree and assault in the second degree. If convicted, he faces up to 50 years to life in prison.
The Brooklynite is also tied to similar incident, where he allegedly robbery and strangled a 78-year-old woman in the vicinity of Queens Boulevard and 67th Drive on Aug. 9.
Smalls is a registered sex offender and was convicted of raping a 39-year-old woman in 1981, according to the national sex offender website.
He was also put behind bars in 2003 after he attacked a 29-year-old woman in Rego Park and forced her to perform a sex act on him, police said.