Woman assaulted and robbed in Petworth

WASHINGTON (WJLA) – A local woman spoke with us exclusively after being beaten and robbed of her purse in the middle of the day.

Witnesses say they know the man who did this, and are upset that police haven’t questioned him yet. The attack happened here on Varnum Street on Sunday, and now the victim wants to warn her neighbors. She wrote about the assault in a neighborhood blog, and then residents started chiming in, saying they think they know who he is.

We cannot show her entire face, but this 50-year-old D.C. woman suffered a black eye after being pummeled by a stranger – all for her purse.

It was Sunday afternoon at about 12:30 p.m. when the victim was walking to the grocery store in Petworth. She sensed she was being followed, but since it was very icy on the sidewalks, she couldn’t run. She tried to get to busy Georgia Avenue, but just one block away on Varnum Street, the suspect grabbed her purse straps from behind and she fell to the ground.

"He said, 'Let go,' and I froze. He punched me," she describes.

She thought if she screamed, he would kill her. So finally she let go and began to slowly walk away. With the suspect's back turned, she pulled out her cell phone and dialed 911.

While waiting for police to arrive, this one neighbor walked out and caught a glimpse of the suspect -- and recognized him immediately.

"I've seen him come through this neighborhood all the time," he says.

Police currently have information on the suspect, but are not giving out information at this time since it is an ongoing investigation.