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No bail in beating of man with dementia

Josue Bonilla was charged with robbery and assault

Josue Bonilla was charged with robbery and assault in the beating of a 68-year-old man who has Alzheimer's disease in New Cassel, Nassau County police said. (June 15, 2012) Credit: NCPD

A 23-year-old New Cassel man was being held without bail Friday in the assault and robbery of a 68-year-old man with dementia who has been in a coma since the attack in April.

Police said the family of the Hicksville victim, whom police did not identify, reported him missing hours before the attack.

Josue Bonilla, of 853 Oliver Ave., was arrested late Thursday in the attack at 8:45 p.m. April 28 on Grayston Street, near the suspect's home, Nassau County police said.

Bonilla's assault on the victim left him with shoe marks on his chest and back, police said. Bonilla kicked the victim in the head and body while going through the man's pockets and taking his possessions, Det. Lt. Raymond Coté of the Third Squad said Friday in an interview.

Bonilla "knocked the dentures out of his mouth," Coté said.

The suspect kicked the victim so hard that Bonilla injured himself and was seen limping as he fled the scene, police said.

The victim's prognosis is "grim," Coté said.

The felony complaint filed in district court says the victim was admitted to Nassau University Medical Center, "where he has permanent brain damage."

Bonilla's Mineola attorney, Robert Schalk, said the investigation is in its preliminary stages. He added that "there were multiple people in the neighborhood interviewed as suspects" in addition to his client.

Schalk said he will meet Tuesday with Nassau district attorneys.

Witnesses told police they heard the victim pleading with Bonilla, the detective said. "They heard him yell out, 'I don't have anything,' " Coté said.

Police identified the victim May 20 as a Hicksville man suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

At a news conference Friday, Coté said the crime appeared to be unplanned. "The man apparently saw it as an opportunity to rob him and viciously did so," taking a small amount of money from him, Coté said.

With David Uberti

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