Video helps police ID man who beat senior citizen, stole his lottery tickets

A man arrested last month by Temple University police after assaulting and robbing a woman on the school's North Philadelphia campus was identified today as the perpetrator of a second robbery in which he brutally beat a 75-year-old man, police said.

Joseph Smith, 31, of 17th Street near 66th Avenue in West Oak Lane, was nabbed by Temple police at shortly after he approached a woman on Broad Street near Norris at 7:10 p.m. Sept. 18. Police said in that robbery, Smith tapped the victim on the shoulder and grabbed her bag. When she resisted, he punched her in the face and fled on foot with her belongings, police said.

A witness to that robbery tackled Smith and held him until Temple police arrived to arrest him. The woman, according to police, suffered a bruise to her right cheek and forearm.

About an hour and a half before that robbery, a 75-year-old man buying lottery tickets at a Getty gas station mini market at Broad and York streets was punched, kicked and robbed of his tickets and cash by a man. When police released video of that robbery today, a detective in the Central Division saw the video and recognized the robber as Smith, authorities said.

Smith will be charged with the robbery of the senior citizen as well, police said. The victim in that case was treated at Temple University Hospital and released.