CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) – An 80-year-old woman remains in intensive care after being seriously injured when a man in a New York grocery store parking lot tried to steal her purse Tuesday night, Cheektowaga, New York, police said.
Police said witnesses observed a man in a white Jeep grab the woman’s purse while she was in the parking lot Tuesday. The woman tried to hold onto the purse and was dragged by the vehicle, they said.
Someone who witnessed the event followed the Jeep and was able to record the license plate. Police said the vehicle had been reported stolen on April 1.
Buffalo Police were informed of the incident and located the vehicle parked a few miles away. When police later confronted the suspect, he ran, but was apprehended in a backyard, they said.
The suspect, identified as 32-year-old Michael T. Sawyer of Buffalo, was charged with attempted robbery and assault. He is being held on $200,000 bail.
Police said they “developed Michael Sawyer as a suspect based on the stolen vehicle report and past interactions with the vehicle and its operator.” Sawyer is known to police and has been arrested 24 times, including 14 previous felony charges, they said. Sawyer has also been charged for leading police on vehicle pursuits and reckless driving 10 times since 2016, police added.