Poughkeepsie purse snatcher drags woman, accepts cash to let go of bag

A woman was able to bribe a City of Poughkeepsie purse snatcher to leave her alone during an incident downtown on Thursday, but police want to find him anyway.

The crime happened just before 3:30 p.m. near 110 Main St., city Police Lt. Edward Freer said Friday.

A 35-year-old woman told police she was walking west along Main Street toward the Poughkeepsie train station, and as she passed 110 Main a man came up to her from behind and grabbed her handbag, Freer said. He tried to run off with it but the woman had other ideas, refusing to let go even as the man began to drag her across a nearby parking lot.


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"It was a big bag and she was wearing it across her shoulder," Freer said. "She's holding it tight to her body and he's dragging her."

Unluckily for the woman, Main Street, which is usually very busy at midafternoon on a weekday, was largely quiet at that moment. "There was no one in the immediate vicinity," Freer said.

As she was being dragged, the woman offered the assailant money if he'd let go of the handbag, which he did. She gave him about $30 and he ran southeast toward South Perry Street, Freer said.

"I guess she figured, at least this way I don't lose my credit cards or any other valuables, just money," Freer said.

As the man ran off, some bystanders became aware of the attack. "She was screaming, and some people across the street at the pizzeria came out to help," Freer said. They chased the assailant but were unable to catch him.

"He already had a head start," Freer said.

The woman suffered minor scrapes to her knees but did not require medical attention, Freer said. The man did not speak to the woman during the attack. "He was just pulling her," Freer said.

The mugger was described as black, about 5-foot-9, 160-175 pounds and in his mid- to late 30s. He wore a black crew neck T-shirt on Thursday, with blue jeans and a black "do rag," Freer said. He possibly had light facial hair and short dreadlocks, Freer said, and may have been wearing some type of fanny pack or a sweatshirt or jacket around his waist.

Anyone who may have witnessed the attack or who has any information about it is asked to call Poughkeepsie city police detectives at 845-451-4142.

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