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A 35-year-old Hollywood woman was arrested on a charge of robbery by sudden snatching after she punched a paralyzed woman and took her purse, police said.
Nidia Ortiz robbed Alishia Schell as she was sitting with her mother in her mother’s vehicle at 530 N. Dixie Highway just after 2:30 p.m. Monday, Hollywood Police said in an arrest report.
Schell said that as she was lighting up a cigarette in the front passenger seat, a woman approached her and yelled at her for smoking while kids were in the area. Another woman also yelled at her, words were exchanged, and the women challenged Schell to step out of the vehicle and fight, according to the report.
She told them that she is paralyzed and could not stand, let alone fight, the report said.
That’s when the suspect who was wearing a green tank top began striking Schell in the face and head with closed fists, then climbed through an open window and into the vehicle, police said in the report. Schell’s mother, Cynthia Schell, told police that the same suspect also struck her in the head and face and pulled her hair before getting out of the vehicle, according to the report.
Alishia Schell said the suspect wearing a red top and black shorts – later identified as Ortiz – punched her in the face through an open window, pulled her hair and snatched her black Coach purse, the report said.
Ortiz also property worth at least $300 from Schell, including her wallet and ID, bank cards, about $100 in cash, and a cell phone, according to the report.
The suspects fled south in a white minivan on N. Dixie Highway, the victims said.
Police said in their report that they found the vehicle they were looking for – a white Ford Windstar with tinted windows and rear damage – in front of 1944 Fillmore St. An officer said he spoke with Ortiz, who “appeared extremely nervous,” and said that she usually lets her friends drive her Windstar, according to the report.
Ortiz was arrested after the victims positively identified her, the report said.
She was released from jail after posting $7,500 bond early Wednesday, online jail records showed. It was not immediately known whether Ortiz has an attorney.
The second suspect has not been identified or taken into custody, Sgt. Gene Cochenour said Wednesday.