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Student Robbed, Hurled To Ground In Quiet Garden City Neighborhood

Victim Believes She Was Stalked, Followed From LIRR Station

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GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A college student said she was attacked and robbed on Long Island, by a man who targeted her, stalked her, and followed her home from a train station in a community that rarely sees crime.

The victim spoke exclusively with CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan Wednesday. She did not want her name used or her face shown.

Garden City villagers have been on edge since the attack around 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, as police have been roaming residential streets for the violent robber. The victim was an exchange student from Italy, who was walking to her relatives’ home from the nearby Long Island Rail Road station.

“It was 7:30 at night. Probably, he followed me from the station, and it was dark outside,” the woman said. “I looked behind and I saw him, so I started walking a bit faster and he just grabbed my purse and you know, like, he pulled it, and pushed me to the floor.”

The 23-year-old victim, who was returning from an internship in Manhattan at the time, was shoved to the ground at Somerset Avenue and Weyford Terrace. She suffered head and leg wounds that required hospitalization.

Police reported the assailant ripped away her pocketbook, an iPad, a cellphone, and a considerable amount of cash.

Since the frightened victim believes she was stalked and followed, homeowners in one of the safest communities on Long Island have banded together as Garden City police send out alerts on the Web.

In the alert, police described the suspect as a black male standing about 5 feet 9 inches tall with a thin build. He was wearing burgundy-colored sweat pants, a black sweat shirt, and a black ski hat.

“I’m shocked,” said Garden City homeowner Virginia Sanossian. “My neighbor just called about the police activity last night.”

“I hope the woman is OK,” added Garden City homeowner Diane Pniewski. “She was attacked in front of my house. The police talked with me.”

Following the attack, the suspect fled eastward on Somerset Avenue to northbound Meadowbrook Avenue. He ran past a nearby school and disappeared into the night.

“I hit with my chin on the ground, and my head hurts,” the victim said.

Police said several witnesses believe they saw the suspect lurking in the area of the Merillon Avenue LIRR station before he took off on foot.

He may be a suspect in more than one robbery.

As police hunt for the robber, they are asking any other witnesses to contact Garden City or Nassau County police, or Nassau County Crime Stoppers at (800) 244-TIPS.

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