Walking and talking on his iPhone didn’t seem to 29-year-old Kyle Supley like a particularly reckless thing to do on Waverly Place near Christopher Street in the West Village late on a Tuesday evening.
“I shouldn’t have had it out, probably,” Mr. Supley would later say when the Transom reached him by phone. “But I work at Apple”–as a specialist at the Fifth Avenue store–“and I’m so used to seeing them all day that I wasn’t really thinking about it being a problem, and I didn’t think the area was really something to worry about. I’ve been in New York 10 years and am usually pretty street-smart, but I think the phone is very appealing.”
On the 27th of July, at 11:50 p.m., three teenage men attacked Mr. Supley on that corner, threw an initially unidentified, sweet-smelling liquid in his face, put him in a headlock, punched him in the face and knocked him to the ground to obtain the sleek, fourth edition of the device, which had then only been out about a month.
‘The first guy tapped me on the shoulder and sprayed me with a water bottle containing what turned out to be Red Bull.’
Mr. Supley, who lives in Astoria, Queens, was walking from 14th Street and Sixth Avenue and talking to a friend over Skype when he turned down Greenwich Street. “This person walked up next to me too close for comfort, so I put my iPhone in my pocket, sensing trouble,” said Mr. Supley. “I briskly walked across Waverly to get away from the guy, and when I turned around, I realized it was three guys.” Here Mr. Supley’s 3G iPhone, which he had borrowed from a friend for the interim, cut out and the Transom heard him say to someone near him, “Shit! The news are calling me about my mugging–“
The line reconnected and Mr. Supley continued, “The first guy tapped me on the shoulder and sprayed me with a water bottle containing what turned out to be Red Bull, which I guess is like ghetto mace or something.”
The men surrounded him and one of them said, “Give it to us.” Mr. Supley tried to escape, but one of the men reached into his pocket for the phone, and as Mr. Supley resisted, he received a punch in the face. His glasses fell off. “I have these vintage frames that I love, and I heard them hit the ground, and I kind of freaked out, like, ‘Not my glasses!'” he said. “I grabbed them and threw them under a parked car so they wouldn’t get broken.”
The men snatched the phone and went for his other pockets. He pleaded that they take the money but leave his Diesel wallet–which contained a photo of his father, movie tickets and a gift certificate to the Olive Garden from his parents–but they took the whole thing anyway and fled north on Waverly.