A Levittown man was arrested Wednesday after he grabbed a senior citizen’s pocketbook in Northport and fled, authorities said.
Suffolk County Police say William Wahl, 25, had approached and began talking to a 66-year-old woman who was walking to her car in the parking lot of the Stop and Shop at 454 Fort Salonga Road, at about 12:25 p.m. Wednesday. He then grabbed her pocketbook from her arm and fled on foot, police said.
The woman screamed and bystanders began to chase Wahl, police said. He ran to a residential area and the backyards on Laurel Road in Northport. One of the backyards belonged to an off-duty Nassau County Police Department officer where a struggle ensued. Wahl broke free and fled, police said.
Police set up a perimeter and canine section and aviation section officers responded to assist the search. At approximately 1:05 p.m., Second Precinct Officer James Magyar noticed a man fitting the description of the suspect walking down Laurel Road near Laurel Court. After an investigation, Magyar arrested Wahl for the pocketbook theft.
Wahl was treated at Huntington Hospital for cuts on his hands suffered while climbing fences. The off-duty officer was also taken to a local hospital with minor injuries to his hands. The female victim was not injured.
Second Squad detectives charged Wahl, of Ramble Lane, Levittown, with fourth-degree grand larceny, second-degree assault, and fourth-degree criminal mischief.Wahl was scheduled for arraignment at First District Court in Central Islip on May 8.