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Neighbours fear for elderly man’s safety

An elderly man who was robbed at knifepoint and held captive in his home in 2012 is living in fear of being attacked yet again.

Patricia Simmons, 47, broke into the apartment of Sydney Dorfman, 81, and robbed him on Feb. 18, 2014, the second time that she had terrorized the senior citizen.

Simmons had been released from prison after serving 10 months for robbing Dorfman at knifepoint at 3105 Bedford on Dec. 10, 2012, inflicting wounds to his hands.

We met Dorfman at his ground-floor apartment following the latest break-in. He said that Simmons came in through the closed kitchen window and yanked out his telephone cord. A neighbour heard the victim shouting and called 911.

Simmons, of no fixed address, was in violation of her parole condition to refrain from having or carrying weapons. She was arrested and released by the court on Feb. 24, 2014 on a promise to appear on Apr. 9 to face the new charges. She must also respect a curfew, is not allowed to change her address, must abstain from being within 200 meters of the home of her victim, can’t communicate with him and must not carry weapons.

According to Dorfman, Simmons uses a tool to pry the window open. He told us that he was anxious about possibly running into her again, knowing that she lives in the same neighbourhood and was seen in the building.

Alana Ronald was also a victim of Patricia Simmons. On Sept. 8, 2010, Ronald came face to face with an intruder who was wandering around her place at 3095 Bedford at 2:30 in the morning. She reported four more break-in attempts through her living room window on Sept. 21.

We were able to locate the apartment on Côte-des-Neiges Rd. where Simmons, a hairdresser, promised to be staying until her court appearance. It is just a few blocks away from Dorfman’s place, but the woman, who is unemployed, is no longer living in that building, said two sources who wish to remain anonymous. A women’s shelter worker said that they know Ms. Simmons but she has not been using their services. Another rumour is that she might be living on Goyer Avenue.

The owner of Dorfman’s apartment, Boris Kranczberg, said that tenants over the years habitually left the back door unlocked.

A city inspector also visited Dorfman’s apartment last week.

An extermination company has been in the building to carry out an inspection, but they don’t go in apartments unless they are let in, according to another neighbour.

After a heart attack
Dorfman suffered a heart attack a few days after the second break-in last February. Alana Ronald found the man lying on the floor of his apartment, possibly for several hours, and called an ambulance. He remains hospitalized to this day and is still recovering.

Pierre Arcand, Mount Royal MNA, has been informed about the case, but the social worker requires a form signed by Sydney Dorfman should he wish to be relocated in a seniors residence, according to Tamara Davis of Arcand’s office.

It is not possible for anyone to contact Mr. Dorfman in the absence of a member of his family. His brother living in another province might be the only person to help him.

Sydney Dorfman’s social worker at the hospital cannot divulge details of his present condition or information as to when he will be released from hospital.

Marie Cicchini |
Photo : Marie Cicchini

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