Elderly Fayetteville couple fights off mugger in New York City

Herbert and Lee Margolin

An elderly couple is back home safe in Central New York, just days after fighting off a mugger in New York City.

When Herbert and Lee Margolin's granddaughter invited them to stay in her midtown Manhattan apartment while she was out of town, the two New York City natives decided it would be a perfect getaway. On July 30, after a busy day exploring the city, Herbert and Lee were standing in the street outside the apartment when a man started bothering them.

"When he approached us, I pushed him away and he didn't like that. He was after my purse," said Lee.

89-year-old Herbert moved in to protect his wife of 58 years - the last 24 spent in Fayetteville - and was soon wrestling with the would-be thief on the ground.

"Action was automaticâ?¦ you just did what you had to do to protect her," said Herbert.

The attacker had a sharpened metal fork, but Herbert and Lee didn't want to give him a chance to use it as a weapon. It was a team effort. While Herbert wrestled the mugger on the ground, Lee joined in the fight.

"I just kept punching and he dropped the weapon and ran," said Lee.

A witness called 911, and police caught the mugger a few blocks away. Herbert just had a few bumps and bruises, and Lee was able to keep her purse.

They were both surprised that their ability to fight back was being treated as such a big deal.

"In Manhattan, you never know... because I'm an original New Yorker, and know exactly what could happen" said Herbert.