Police: 81-year-old Lawrence man brutally beaten, robbed while on morning walk

LAWRENCE, MASS. (WHDH) - An 81-year-old Lawrence man is recovering after police say he was attacked, brutally beaten and robbed by a North Andover man over the weekend.

Officers responding around 5:30 a.m. Sunday to a reported robbery on Lawrence Street found an elderly victim who had been punched, kicked in the head and robbed while on his morning walk.

“He told me to give me the wallet. I said I do not have a wallet,” Rafael Castellano explained. “He said give me the wallet or you are going to have a problem.”

A witness recorded video of Castellano on the ground being viciously attacked and shared it with officers, which led to an arrest, police said. An officer responding to the scene recognized the suspect after passing him on his way to the call.

Rafael Castellano, 81, of Lawrence

Kalish Rodriguez, 33, was arrested a short time later. He is charged with assault and battery on a person over 60 and unarmed robbery. While he was being booked, police said officers found Castellano’s wallet and items that were stolen during a reported motor vehicle break-in, resulting in an additional charge of receiving stolen property.

Castellano spent two days in the hospital after suffering a black eye, seven stitches, a nose fracture and bruised ribs.

Karina Duran, Catellano’s daughter, is shocked someone could be so heartless as to pummel a defenseless man.

“One punch. That’s all he had to do to get my father down to the ground, but he kept hitting and kicking him,” she said. “My father was not even defending himself.”

Duran says she is thankful for the witness’ quick actions and hopes others will follow the example.

“That’s what we have our phones for,” she said. “Use it to an advantage to help someone. Not to just get likes on Instagram or Snapchat.”

Rodriguez has since been ordered held without bail pending a court appearance on Friday.

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