Woman Turns Tables on Purse Snatcher

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Tenacious. Brave.

    The words of praise offered by a police investigator seemed to fit the 32-year-old woman who went from victim to victor in a real-life battle with a purse snatcher Tuesday night.

    But the woman police identified only as Diana said she was just being herself.

    "I don't like to feel like a victim when things happen.  That's why I stand up for myself."

    Diana was sitting, waiting for a LIRR train at the Mineola station when an unidentified man grabbed her purse and ran off.

    A screaming Diana took off after the man, chasing him for several blocks and refusing to stop, even after he knocked her to the ground, according to Nassau Police.

    "I am not as fast as I was in high school but I just really wanted to catch him," she added.

    The chase ended in a Mineola alley, with Diana grabbing and kicking the purse snatcher, described by police as a Hispanic man, about five feet five inches tall, weighing about 140 pounds.

    "I felt like I wasn;t the victim at that moment," Diana said.

    "I made him the victim."

    The purse snatcher dropped her bag, according to police, but escaped Diana's grasp and fled.  She was able to yank his jacket from him.

    "It could have been a lot worse," said Nassau county police Det. Lt. Ray Cote

    "We would not encourage anyone to take this kind of action."

    Other women at the train station cheered Diana's reaction but questioned whether they would have done the same thing.

    "It's a scary situation," said Stephanie Johnson of Williston Park.  "I don't know if everyone would have done it; but good for her."

    Diana's full identity wasn't disclosed because her attacker remains at large; but, she did confirm she lives in the five boroughs, was an athlete in high school and did take a self-defense course after being attacked once before in college.

    "I don't suggest he try it again.  He obviously thought I was an easy mark but that wasn't the case."