Adam Bardisa of Palm Beach, Florida was arrested after he allegedly robbed sisters Hermena Perlmutter and Martha Muraskin outside of a Publix store on April 12. Bardisa was charged with aggravated battery of a person older than 65 and strong-arm robbery on Monday, April 23, which was also his 19th birthday. He was granted $25,000 bail bond on Tuesday, though it is not clear whether he has paid it. It is similarly unclear whether he has retained a private criminal defense attorney.
According to the arrest report, Bardisa is accused of robbing Hermena Perlmutter and Martha Muraskin, two elderly sisters. The alleged robbery occurred on April 12 at 9886 Glades Road outside of a Publix store at which the sisters had been shopping. Publix surveillance cameras show a man who appears to follow Perlmutter, 84, and Muraskin, 96, as they purchase items and $620 in money orders. Store workers say that the man tried to return candles to the store but was turned down.
Witnesses reported seeing a man follow the pair outside on a Razor scooter, where Perlmutter and Muraskin were waiting for the Palm Tran bus that would take them back to their home. Witnesses told detectives that as soon as the bus arrived, the man grabbed Muraskin’s purse and fled. The purse, according to Muraskin and Perlmutter, contained $1,200 along with a gold watch and bracelet. Witnesses reportedly pursued the man as he scootered over to a gold-colored getaway vehicle, which drove off as soon as he was inside.
Both women were knocked over during the robbery and sustained injuries. Muraskin, who was in a wheelchair due to health complications, sustained two broken ribs, while Perlmutter underwent treatment for high blood pressure. The sisters are believed to have since been released from the hospital and have not publicly commented on the incident.
After the robbery, Palm Beach County police asked the public to help them find the suspect pictured in the surveillance video, releasing footage to local news stations to that aim. Bardisa’s parents, Susan and Alex Bardisa, called in a tip to Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office reporting that the man in the video was their son. According to the arrest report, Barista’s parents told investigators that their son was addicted to prescription drugs and had been to numerous drug rehabilitation centers. They also told police that on the day of the robbery, Bardisa had told his mother that he was going to New York to look for a job. The friend, the parents told detectives, has a gold-colored Cadillac that matches the getaway vehicle description. It is unclear whether police have confirmed this and whether Bardisa’s friend will be charged as well.
Alex and Susan Bardisa reported that Adam Bardisa had just been released from a drug rehabilitation center on Thursday, when surveillance footage from the robbery first came out. Susan Bardisa told authorities that before contacting them, she had told her son to confess to the crime if he had indeed committed it. Adam, she said, told her that he was not responsible for the robbery.
Police arrested Adam Bardisa after two witnesses were able to pick him out of a suspect lineup. However, other witnesses failed to do so, according to reports.