Staten Island man suspected of robbing armless teen gets hate crime charge

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Vincent Popalardo faces hate crime charges after allegedly robbing a teen with no arms. (Richmond County DA's office)

Vincent Popalardo faces hate crime charges after allegedly robbing a teen with no arms. (Richmond County DA’s office)

STATEN ISLAND – In a crime being called “particularly despicable,” a 20-year-old Staten Island man faces hate crime charges after allegedly robbing a teen born without arms, according to officials.

Vincent Popalardo, along with two juveniles, confronted the 18-year-old victim outside a shopping center at 1351 Forest Ave., and forcibly took his belongings, according to Richmond County District Attorney Michael E. McMahon.

“This defendant targeted the victim because of his disability, which shows that these actions were in fact crimes under the state’s statute,” McMahon said.  “All crimes are unacceptable, but those committed against an individual because of his or her disability are particularly despicable.”

Popalardo faces charges of robbery in the second degree, hate crime and assault of a disabled teen in the November 30 crime.

He was arrested in Eerie, Pennsylvania Jan. 6 and held on $100,000 bail.  The two juvenile suspects are being charged separately.