Metro

NYC steps up for 91-year-old Purple Heart vet robbery victim Walter White

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Things are finally breaking good for Walter White.

An army of big-hearted New Yorkers are helping the down-on-his-luck 91-year-old Korean War veteran who was robbed at gunpoint inside his Harlem apartment Saturday morning.

A GoFundMe page started Wednesday has received nearly $1,000 in donations and a non-profit veterans group has given the “feisty good soul” $400 and furnished his spartan digs with a platform bed, pillows, kitchen table set, bathroom supplies, cookware and non-perishables such as rice, pastas and peanut butter.  

New Yorkers are also sending checks to Paula Miritello, who heads the non-profit, My Brother Vinny, which provides free furniture and housewares to formerly homeless US vets. “Although this is horrific, I feel this is a twisted blessing in disguise,” she said. “We are going to make this a positive and find Walter all the resources that he needs.”

Two thugs, one brandishing a gun, knocked on White’s door at West 145th Street and Edgecombe Avenue at about 8 a.m., and demanded his cell phone and cash, police said.

While one robber stood guard at the door, White handed over his phone and $270 to the gunman, police said.

“It was just one of ’em things,” the nonplussed nonagenarian told The Post in the days after the stick-up. “I opened my door for this guy and come to find I have a .38 in my face.”

White, who served as a sergeant in the Korean War from 1950 to 1955, moved into the apartment Oct. 20 and didn’t even have his furniture yet. He’d been using a duffel bag as his bed.

White, who served as a sergeant in the Korean War from 1950 to 1955.
White, who served as a sergeant in the Korean War from 1950 to 1955.
G.N.Miller/NYPost

Miritello, unaware of the crime, arrived at the apartment several hours later to find cops and commotion.

“I said, ‘Walter, I’m here with your furniture.’ He said, ‘I was just robbed! I was just robbed!”

The vet — who earned a Purple Heart after being shot in the left hip (the bullet is still lodged there) during combat — told The Post he doesn’t hold any ill will towards the still-at-large gunman. “He needed the money and I gave him what I had,” he said, “I just hope that he do good with the money he got from me.”

Post reader Patricia Hocker was so moved by White’s plight and resilience that she wrote a check to the veterans assistance group. “I’m proud to help him. I would hope many others would be so moved,” Hocker emailed. “So many sad stories, but that NYPOST story really got me. Sending a donation. God bless Mr. White.”

Police described the suspect as wearing a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt, dark-colored pants and white sneakers. The second man was described as wearing a red hooded jacket, gray pants and black shoes.

Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-8477 or submit a tip at the Crime Stoppers website.

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