Alleged purse-snatching try leaves victim with broken arm

The woman, 63, was walking in downtown Everett at lunchtime. The suspect was charged with assault.

EVERETT — A panhandler trying to snatch a woman’s purse at midday in downtown Everett grabbed it with such force that she was sent twirling to the pavement, breaking her arm in two places, according to charging papers.

Around lunchtime on a sunny Monday, Aug. 19, the woman was walking through downtown near Colby and Pacific avenues. Another woman, 26, asked her for money, according to the court papers filed last week.

The woman, 63, kept walking.

A moment later, the stranger came up from behind and yanked at her purse. The woman fell to the ground on her left arm. As she fell, the alleged attacker let go of the purse. At least four people witnessed the incident and provided statements to police.

The injured woman declined medical aid. X-rays later showed her radius bone had two breaks, the charges say. Police arrested the suspect for investigation of second-degree robbery and second-degree assault. Prosecutors did not pursue the robbery charge when court papers were filed Thursday.

Reached by phone this week, the injured woman asked that her name not be published. The Daily Herald does not typically name crime victims without their permission. She was concerned that this happened in daylight on a busy downtown sidewalk.

“I always felt like that was a safe area to walk, and I never felt threatened before,” she said. “ … This incident really changed my perspective.”

Court records show the suspect had been convicted of rape of a child in 2014. She’d been left alone at a relative’s home when she had sexual contact with a young boy, according to an article in the Skagit Valley Herald.

In that case, the defendant told investigators that voices in her head instructed her to attempt a sex act on the child. She was initially charged with first-degree child rape. Those charges were reduced to third-degree child rape in a plea agreement.

The woman served a 14-month prison sentence and had to register as a sex offender.

Everett police arrested the woman earlier this summer, on July 1, for investigation of disorderly conduct. Jail records show she was released two weeks later.

She’s been back behind bars since Aug. 19, with bail set at $25,000.

Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; Twitter: @snocaleb.

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