A gutsy 80-year-old woman fought off a mugger who followed her into the lobby of her Upper East Side apartment building and attacked her, officials said Friday.
Cops released startling surveillance video showing the ferocious struggle over the woman’s purse inside the lobby of the building near E. 88th St. and First Ave. about 8:20 p.m. Tuesday, police said.
When the creep grabbed her purse and tried to take off with it she held tight to the strap as they pulled back and forth. She continued to hold on and struggle with him even after falling to the floor, the video shows.
Her cries for help alerted neighbor Alex Weiss, 28, who emerged from his apartment to help fight the crook off.
Weiss told the Daily News he was eating dinner with his girlfriend when he heard the screams.
“She called our names. I just ran out, saw the guy, yelled, and he ran away,” he said. “It all happened so quick, I just ran out and ran toward her. Luckily he took off.”
Weiss called the police, and stayed by the woman’s side until cops arrived.
“She was all flustered, out of breath,” he said. “She was holding on to her purse for quite a while. He almost got it but she held on.”
Her attacker fled empty-handed east on E. 88th St. with a second man who acted as a lookout, cops said.
“It's pretty messed up,” Weiss said. “They're clearly looking for someone (who is) by themselves. In this case, women. Hopefully the police will catch them.”
"I feel really terrible for her,” said neighbor Kathy Guo, 28, said. “That's terrifying. I don't know who would do that to an elderly woman."
The same would-be robbers, joined by a third man, are being sought for a successful purse snatching on E. 92nd St. and Lexington Ave. about 12:30 a.m. Dec. 15, cops said.
When their 23-year-old victim resisted, they shoved her, grabbed the purse and ran off west on E. 92nd St.
Cops are asking the public’s help identifying the culprits and released surveillance photos of the trio in addition to the video.
One suspect was wearing a red hooded sweater, a black-and-blue coat, black jeans and black sneakers.
The second suspect was wearing a black hooded jacket, black jeans and black shoes.
The third suspect was wearing a dark hooded coat, blue jeans, and black sneakers and used a cane.
Weiss said he was concerned about the connection between the two robberies.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.