A Levittown man snatched a 66-year-old woman's pocketbook in Northport Wednesday afternoon and led witnesses and police on a foot chase that ended when a patrol officer spotted the suspect and arrested him, Suffolk police said.
William Wahl, 25, of Ramble Lane was being held overnight in the Second Precinct lockup on charges of fourth-degree grand larceny, second-degree assault and fourth-degree criminal mischief, police said.
Wahl's attorney could not be reached for comment.
Police said he approached an elderly woman in the parking lot of the Stop and Shop at 454 Fort Salonga Rd. at 12:25 p.m., exchanged words with her and grabbed her pocketbook. The victim screamed as the suspect ran away, alerting bystanders of the incident, and some of them chased after the suspect who ran through backyards and escaped despite a struggle with an off-duty Nassau County police officer. Canine Section and Aviation Section officers were dispatched to the vicinity to find the suspect.The victim was uninjured.
Wahl was arrested at about 1:05 p.m. when Second Precinct Officer James Magyar observed a man fitting the suspect's description walking down Laurel Road near Laurel Court. He is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday at First District Court in Central Islip.