Deputy Mayor Tackles Midtown Mugger

Ed Skyler rushes to woman's aid after robbery attempt

A deputy and top adviser to Mayor Michael Bloomberg tussled with a mugger in the middle of a midtown Manhattan street on Tuesday evening after he heard a woman screaming that she'd just been robbed.

The victim, Victoria Kress, said she was standing on the street corner at 48th Street and Sixth Avenue, sending an e-mail on her BlackBerry, when it was snatched by a young man. As she called for help, yelling that someone had taken her phone, Deputy Mayor Ed Skyler and several other onlookers rushed in.

As the mugger ran away, Skyler and the others saw him slip on a patch of ice, and ran to pull him up, said Kress.

Kress said Skyler grabbed her BlackBerry away from the teen, and handed it to her.

Police said several associates of the mugger then showed up.

There was a brief skirmish before the mugger wrestled free and the group of teens fled down Sixth Avenue. No arrests have been made.

Neither Skyler nor Kress, a 41-year-old talent agent from West Orange, N.J., was injured, police said.

Kress, who said she lived in New York City before moving to New Jersey years ago, said the experience made her feel "safer about living and working in New York than I ever have felt before."

"Not because I was a victim of a crime," she added, "but because I had an opportunity to experience so much humanity around me."

Skyler, 35, is the youngest of Bloomberg's seven deputies and one of his closest advisers. His duties include helping the mayor manage the police department, fire department, budget office, labor relations, buildings department and sustainability efforts, among others.

Originally from New York City, Skyler has been at Bloomberg's side since his first run for office in 2001, when he served as press secretary for the campaign. He was press secretary for Bloomberg during the mayor's first term, and was promoted to deputy mayor after Bloomberg was re-elected.

He holds a degree from Fordham University School of Law.

He did not immediately comment.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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