Purse Snatcher Drags 90-Year-Old Woman Through Parking Lot

Suspect in custody as woman suffered broken bones and road rash

By Patricia Tirone
|  Thursday, Apr 19, 2012  |  Updated 7:36 AM EDT
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Dispute Between Man and Escort Leads to His Arrest

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Police arrested a man who dragged an elderly lady through a parking lot in attempt to steal her purse, leaving her badly injured Monday.

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A 90-year-old woman is lucky to be alive after authorities say she was dragged through an Orlando-area grocery store parking lot by a purse snatcher.

Elaine Scata was in the Publix parking lot on the corner of South Orange Blossom Trail and Pleasant Hill Road Monday, when a man in a red Jeep Cherokee drove by  and snatched her purse, dragging her nearly 15 feet, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

“This is terrible,” Twis Lizasuain, Osceola County Sheriff’s spokeswoman, told the Sentinel.

Shoppers and a Publix employee rushed to help Scata.

Christopher Sadowski who tried to get the vehicle’s tag told the Sentinel, “She finally got loose and fell to the ground.”

“As soon as I got there, she rolled over and sat up,” Sadowski said. “The Jeep took off; it took off very quickly.”

Scata told authorities that the driver pulled up to her, asking for money. When she replied that she had none, the man grabbed her shoulder-strapped purse and drove, pulling her off her feet, the Sentinel reported.

Paramedics drove Scata to a local hospital while deputies investigated.The 90-year-old woman remains hospitalized and suffered broken bones and a road rash.

A deputy stopped a Jeep Cherokee shortly after the incident based on descriptions witnesses had given, and questioned the driver, Jose Luis Delgado-Pastrana, also taking his picture.

The 300-pound, 6 foot 2 inches tall Delgado-Pastrana,27, was identified by the elderly lady as the purse snatcher, Lizasuain told the Sentinel.

When authorities located him, he resisted arrest and was stunned with a Taser. Still resisting, a K-9 bit him in the leg, requiring stitches at a local hospital, the Sheriff’s Office reported.

Scata’s purse was taken back from Delgada-Pastrana during the arrest.

“They didn’t find the purse with him, but they found it close by,” Lizasuain said.

He was charged with robbery, aggravated abuse of an elderly person, aggravated battery on a person 65 years or older, and larceny.

Delgada-Pastrana remains in Osceola County Jail with a bond of $31,000. It was unknown whether he has an attorney.

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