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Purse-Wielding Bystander Breaks Up Downtown Robbery

A 61-year-old woman broke up a robbery in downtown Seattle Tuesday after witnessing a teen attacking another man on the street.

Around 3:45 PM, the 16-year-old suspect approached a 70-year-old man from behind and knocked him to the ground near 7th Avenue and Olive Street. The victim shouted for help as the teen began trying to reach into his pockets.

The 61-year-old bystander saw what was happening and rushed to the victim’s aid.

“She was not sure what to do as she was in high heels,” she told officers following the incident. “But out of instinct she ran toward the altercation.”

The woman hit the suspect with her purse until the teen fled.

A second bystander flagged down officers and said the teen had boarded a Metro bus. Police caught up to the Metro coach a short time later and took the teen into custody.


The victim sustained cuts, bruises and a broken nose and was taken to Harborview Medical Center for treatment.

Officers booked the 16-year-old into the King County Youth Service Center for robbery.