Armed robbery in Prospect Park

A gun-wielding thief and an accomplice beat up a man then snatched his iPhone in Prospect Park on July 31, according to police.

Cops say the 25-year-old victim was searching for directions on his smartphone on West Drive near Third Street at 10:50 pm when the crooks ran up and one of them “clotheslined” him, knocking the man to the ground.

The armed perp put the park-goer in a headlock while the other punched him in the face and broke his nose, causing him to drop the phone, police sources say.

Police cuffed two suspects — ages 24 and 19 — for assault and robbery, and hit the younger man with a weapons possession charge as well.

The crime is one of several recent attacks in Prospect Park, some of which occurred on the park’s popular roadway, park advocates say.

“I’ve heard of two or three in last couple weeks,” said Geoffrey Croft of New York City Park Advocates, who first reported the robbery on his blog, A Walk in The Park.

Part of the problem is a lack of full-time police enforcement in Brooklyn parks, Croft said.

The entire borough has only two Parks Enforcement Patrol officers — full-time cops dedicated to keeping city parks safe — according to his advocacy group.

“In Brooklyn, specifically, it’s crazy,” Croft said. “We need dramatically more officers.”

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

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