Wheelchair Purse-Snatching Suspect: It Was A Mistake

Monday, Aug 8, 2011  |  Updated 7:57 AM EDT
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NYPD has released surveillance video of a man robbing an elderly woman in a wheelchair late last month. Anyone with information on the suspect is asked to call 800-577-TIPS or visit nypdcrimestoppers.com

NYPD

NYPD has released surveillance video of a man robbing an elderly woman in a wheelchair late last month. Anyone with information on the suspect is asked to call 800-577-TIPS or visit nypdcrimestoppers.com

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The teen arrested for stealing a purse from a 78-year-old woman in a wheelchair says he regrets the "stupid" mistake.

"It happened, I regret it," Cody Santiago, 18, told the Daily News in an interview from Rikers Island.

"Everybody makes stupid mistakes. Everybody does things they regret," he added.

Santiago was arrested last week for the July 20 robbery at the southeast corner of Wyckoff Avenue and Bleecker Street. It was captured on surveillance video.

The woman was not harmed, but told NBC New York the encounter terrified her.

"He took my bag, but I didn't yell because I was afraid he would hurt me or punch me," Catalina Mateo told NBC New York last week.

Moreno, who had a stroke three years ago and lost feeling on her left side, said the bag held $15, along with her medicines, blood-pressure monitor, ID cards and food stamps.

Santiago told the News that he planned to get his life back on track.

"When I'm out, it's over. I just want to be left alone," he said.

He could face up to four years in prison if convicted.

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