NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A Newport News woman said she had to have surgery on her wrist, after someone pulled her down outside her house and stole her purse earlier this month.
Newport News Police said they are investigating five purse thefts between December 31 and January 9. Brenda Orie was almost inside her house on 11th Street, when she felt someone tug on her purse.
“I put the key in the lock and then I felt the presence of someone behind me. You know, you can feel like someone has come up behind you,” Orie said. “He pulled me down, dragged me down the brick and concrete steps and halfway down the sidewalk, tugging at my purse. I was screaming and hollering and crying, ‘Help me! Help me!.'”
Orie said her husband ran outside, but the man got away with her purse. Her wrist was left broken in four places.
“I’m still suffering from what has happened to me,” she said. “I have flashbacks. I don’t sleep good at night sometimes. If the house settles, if the furnace comes on, you know, I’m jumping.”
Newport News Police said they think the same person attacked women ages 19 to 52 on 20th Street, Hampton Avenue and Marshall Avenue, and Wickham Avenue over a week. In one case, the man cut a victim in the face. After Orie’s attack, police said someone went after a 55-year-old woman on Ivy Avenue, punching and kicking her. Orie has had surgery on her hand, but she said she’ll need physical and mental therapy to get past what happened.
“Anyone who would do something like that to someone needs help, and if you need help, all you have to do is ask,” Orie said.
Police said the suspect is a black, light-skinned man, 18 to 25 years old, 5 foot 7 to 5 foot 9. He has a medium build, very curly hair, and a gray hooded sweatshirt.
If you know anything about this case, call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.