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Police: Suspects Seen On Video Attacking, Robbing Elderly Woman In Queens

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Police are looking for two suspects who they said are seen on surveillance video attacking and robbing an elderly woman in Queens.

It happened just before 3:30 p.m. Tuesday. Police said the 73-year-old woman, who did not want to be identified, was pushing a grocery cart down a sidewalk at the corner of 153rd Avenue and 88th Street when a man and a woman attacked her.

The woman told CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez she wanted to remain unknown out of fear of retaliation from her attackers.

“A couple passed me, which I thought nothing of. Stupidly, I had my bag in my shopping cart and then before I knew it they were behind me. She’s grabbing my bag. I tried to retrieve it. And then he was in back of me and punched me,” the woman said.

The entire incident was captured on nearby surveillance video.

The suspects are seen walking up to the victim from behind. The woman then steals the victim’s purse from the cart as the man punches her in the face, knocking her to the ground, police said.

One neighbor said a detective was driving by right as it happened.

“As he’s turning the block down here, he sees them punch the old lady,” Manel Judah told CBS 2’s John Slattery. “Tries to chase them down. He tells me to call 911.”

“He got out, helped me up and then he chased them but he lost them,” the victim told Sanchez.

The suspects made off with $100, a cell phone and some of the woman’s personal items, police said.

The victim suffered cuts and abrasions to her ear and arm and was treated at Jamaica Hospital.

“I went to my doctor today and thank God everything checked out OK. I’m bruised, but I’m here to talk about it. It was a little scary,” the victim said.

“She was shaken,” Judah said. “They just victimized her.”

The attack has left others in the neighborhood on edge.

“I got no pocketbook this morning because you got to be afraid to come out,” said 79-year-old Nina Russo.

“I think you should throw the book at them because it’s so brutal,” Tom Spencer told 1010 WINS’ Al Jones.

Though still a bit shaken up, the victim told Sanchez she refuses to let fear take over.

“I went through 9/11 — bombings and everything. Nobody’s going to stop me. And I just hope they get the individuals,” she said.

She said walking alone to and from the Waldbaums has always been a highlight for her and she plans on continuing to make those solo trips.

She’s working to replace everything that was stolen, but that her mother’s rosary beads, which were in the bag, can never be replaced.

The first suspect is described as a black woman, about 18 years old with a thin build. Police said she was last seen wearing a vest.

The second suspect is described as a black man, also about 18 years old with a thin build. He was last seen wearing dark clothing and cargo shorts, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

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