Purse snatched from 79-year-old woman in Woodhaven

Angela Vassallo isn't very big, not even 5 feet tall. 

But that didn't stop the 79-year-old from fighting back as someone snatched her purse.

"He grabbed from the bottom," she said, describing the attack. "I was pushing this way because I was hoping he wouldn't take it."

Vassallo gestured toward herself, simulating her pulling back. Unfortunately. it wouldn't be enough.

The thief, described as a white male in his mid-30s with his hair slicked back, stole her purse. The frightening incident happened around 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday at a busy strip mall in Woodhaven. She had been doing some casual shopping at a Target when she spotted the man running toward her. That's when she froze.

"I saw him coming across and before you knew it, he was on the sidewalk grabbing for my purse." she said.

The man, described as white and in his mid-30s with hair that was slicked back, ripped her bag during the struggle and pushed her to the cement. Vassallo has the wounds to prove it.

She has scrapes on her arm and elbow, her legs are sore and a shooting pain down her shoulder. 

After the man ran off with her purse, a couple came over and helped her. 

"He's a jerk," she said. "It's not fair, not right at all."

Police later found the purse and wallet tossed out in Trenton, missing the couple hundred dollars that she had inside. Witnesses say the man was spotted jumping out of a newer model Escape that was colored gray.

"Just be careful when you walk. Look around you from back to the front."