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$500K Bond For Alleged Purse Snatcher Chased Down By Witnesses

Richard D. Mendoza, 31, allegedly beat a woman before stealing her purse. (Chicago Police Department)

Richard D. Mendoza, 31, allegedly beat a woman before stealing her purse. (Chicago Police Department)

roberts250 Bob Roberts
Bob Roberts is a native of Wilmette who has worked in Chicago media...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – Bond was set Saturday at $500 thousand for a convicted thief who allegedly battered a woman and stole her purse on the Magnificent Mile — while wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet.

Prosecutors said 31-year-old Richard Mendoza, of 1653 N. Talman Av., allegedly approached the 44-year-old victim from behind Friday morning, in front of an apartment building at 55 E. Erie St.

Passerby Michael Hochhauser said Mendoza allegedly began choking her, knocked her to the ground when she struggled, and kicked and stomped her about the head and body as others watched.

“I screamed, ‘Hey, what are you doing?’ and the guy looked up at me, grabbed the purse, and took off,” Hochhauser told CBS 2.

As the victim passed out on the sidewalk, Hochhauser and a second passerby, Kris Frieden, of Carmel, Ind., ran after Mendoza for more than two blocks until they saw him get into a cab on Michigan Avenue — and then blocked the taxi’s path until police could arrive and arrest Mendoza.

Mendoza has an arrest record for robbery and burglary going back more than a decade. Illinois Department of Corrections records indicate that he was paroled in mid-April on a charge of strong-arm robbery. He has been required to wear an electronic bracelet as a condition of his parole.

The victim was released after treatment at Northwestern Memorial Hospital for bruises and scrapes.