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Woman fends off violent purse-snatcher

September 29, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A violent attack on a Venice street was caught on video. Now police are hoping the release of the images will help catch the suspect before he strikes again. Los Angeles police say the victim in this case is lucky to be alive. In the course of the attempted snatching, she was beaten, kicked and even dragged into the middle of the street by the suspect, but the whole time she never surrendered the one item the suspect was trying to take.

Surveillance video shows the suspects' white van pulling up near the corner of Bernard and Rose avenues in Venice on the morning of September 19.

A suspect gets out and runs around a corner into an alleyway where a woman is walking alone. The suspect tries to grab her purse but the woman would not let go of it. The suspect then started violently attacking her.

"He threw her to the ground and started attacking and punching her violently numerous times, dragged her from the alley to the sidewalk and out onto the street," said LAPD Detective Gus Villanueva.

The victim is defiant. Despite all the punches and kicks she never lets go of her purse. The suspect then has no choice but to get up and leave. He runs back around the corner and hops into a waiting getaway van.

Police say the victim was badly bruised but otherwise very lucky.

"Obviously we do usually recommend that people just cooperate so that they won't be injured or seriously harmed and even killed," said Villanueva. "In this case this was fortunate. We're happy to report that her injuries were minor."

Police say people should also avoid alleyways and even be vigilant when texting or listening to music when walking from place to place.

The suspect was last seen wearing a white shirt and black shorts. The driver of the getaway van did not make an appearance.

If you recognize the suspect in the surveillance video, or the white van, you're asked to contact Los Angeles Police at (877) LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).


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