Worcester, MA (February 25, 2013) - On Monday February 25, 2013 an off duty Worcester Police Detective was working a private detail when he was approached by a WRTA bus driver. The driver informed the officer that an elderly woman was just assaulted on Dorchester Street by a male who was trying to steal her purse. The detail officer called out this information to nearby patrol units. Arriving officers discovered the 79 year old victim, physically and emotionally shaken as a result of this incident.
The victim stated that she was walking on Dorchester Street, heading towards Cutler Street to wait for the bus. While waiting for the bus, a male wearing a black jacket, black pants and a ski mask, approached her from behind. The male suspect attempted to grab her purse by pulling on the strap. The victim began to scream and fought with the male suspect. The force of the suspect knocked the victim to the ground. He then dragged her as he pulled on the purse strap. The victim refused to let go of the purse and eventually the suspect gave up and ran off.
There were several witnesses in the area that provided a good physical and clothing description of the suspect. They also provided a direction of travel of where the suspect fled.
Officers at the scene were able to follow fresh footprints in the snow which lead them to a Houghton Street apartment building. A Massachusetts K-9 Unit arrived at the scene and the dog tracked the scent of the suspect to the Houghton Street address.
Officers made contact with several people inside the apartment building that provided additional information to the officers. As a result, the suspect, a 15-year-old Fitchburg resident, was located and placed under arrest. The juvenile male was charged with Unarmed Assault to Rob, Attempted to Commit a Crime (unarmed robbery) and Assault and Battery on a Person over the age of 60.
The juvenile suspect will be arraigned at the Worcester County Juvenile Courthouse on a date yet to be determined.
The victim was unhurt and refused medical treatment.