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2 held in robbery, beating near Belmont Park

Two men face arraignment Monday morning following their arrest in a two-week-old robbery that left a 45-year-old woman beaten, Nassau County police said.

The robbery took place on Hempstead Turnpike near Belmont Park in Elmont at 10:10 p.m. on March 6.

The woman, who had been riding her bicycle, stopped to change a song on her MP3 player "for a couple of minutes," police said. During that time one assailant grabbed her around the neck from behind and the other began kicking her and riflingd her pockets, taking the MP3 player and headphones.

Police said the two men them knocked the woman to the ground and "continued to punch the victim about the head and face."

The woman was taken to Franklin General Hospital with a possible fractured nose, swollen eye, swollen upper lip, cuts to her forehead and a possible concussion. Updated information on those injuries was not immediately available on Monday.

Jossue Esparza, 21, of 49 Claridge Ave., Elmont, and Jorge Blanco, 27, of 2150 Hempstead Cottage, Elmont, were arrested Sunday in connection with the robbery, police said.

Esparza was the assailant who first grabbed the woman, and Blanco was the one who kicked and hit her, police said.

Both were charged with second-degree robbery and second-degree assault. Police said they recovered the woman's pink MP3 player during the arrest. The two are scheduled for arraignment Monday in First District Court in Hempstead.

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