Crime and Courts

Chief investigative reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.
New York

NYPD: Purse-Snatcher on Scooter Drags 86-Year-Old Victim

Police say the suspect is also wanted in connection with another alleged robbery on scooter

What to Know

  • Cops search for alleged purse-snatcher on scooter that is seen on surveillance dragging an 86-year-old woman as he tried to steal her purse
  • Police say that incident allegedly happened earlier this month in the Upper East Side; Surveillance captured the unsettling incident
  • Cops say the suspect is wanted in another incident where he allegedly rode past man in Harlem and knocked car keys from the victim's hand

Police are searching for an alleged purse-snatcher on a scooter that is seen on surveillance dragging an 86-year-old woman as he tried to steal her purse earlier this month on the Upper East Side.

Police say the suspect has taken part in at least two robberies, with the most recent incident allegedly taking place in Harlem and the most violent occurring in the Upper East Side when the 86-year-old woman was, not only robbed, but knocked down and dragged.

NYPD released surveillance video of the incident involving the 86-year-old woman. In the video the suspect, seen on a scooter, rides onto the sidewalk as the victim stands at the corner, grabs her purse, knocks her to the ground and drags her as he rides away.

Residents in the area find the video hard to watch. One man on the Upper East Side told NBC 4 New York the video makes him think of his own grandmother.

“God forbid something like that happens to her. I’d be devastated,” Jason Durst said.

The bold crime happened May 4 in broad daylight on the corner of 61st Street and First Avenue.

“What do you do in a situation like that?” Christine Luna, of the Upper East Side, said.

The woman ended up being treated at a hospital for pain in her arm, according sources.

“I hope she is alright,” Ryan O’Rourke, of the Upper East Side, said. “I mean, she got thrown to the ground there.”

Police say, however, this was not the first time the alleged suspect targeted someone.

According to police, the suspect tried to rob another victim on 139th Street in West Harlem. In that May 6 incident, police say the suspect, on his scooter, slapped car keys out of the hands of a 55-year-old man. The keys were recovered under the vehicle.

Police describe the suspect as a man last seen wearing a yellow helmet and white and black jacket.

An investigation is underway.

Authorities urge anyone with information to call NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).

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