Rochester woman speaks out after being attacked, robbed in broad daylight

April 11, 2019 06:08 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) -- Two teens are now facing a slew of charges after police say they robbed an elderly woman, took her car and led police on a chase throughout the city.

Police say one 15-year-old has been charged with second-degree robbery, third-degree grand larceny, third-degree criminal possession of stolen property, second-degree reckless endangerment, third-degree unlawful fleeing a police officer and third-degree criminal mischief.


Police say the other 15-year-old has an outstanding PINS warrant and has been charged with third-degree criminal possession of stolen property.

The teens stole from 72-year-old Lorraine Palma.

Palma spoke with News10NBC about the attack.

She has lived in Jack Kenny Memorial Housing for 12 years. She says she left her apartment on Wednesday morning to drop her grandson off at school. When she returned, she says she saw four teens in her 55 and up complex.

"So I figured the four of them just went," Palma said. "So I was coming down my sidewalk to get to my door and I saw one of the kids running across the grass."

Palma says the teen followed her inside the doorway.

"He shoved me up, had my face against the wall," Palma said. "He had my purse, trying to grab my purse out of my arm."

Clutching her dog's leash and her purse, Palma says the teen grabbed the keys to her 2013 Honda CRV. Worried the teen may have had a weapon, Palma says she didn't fight back.

"I made it 72 years of my life and it's like, now you don't have the strength to fight back when you're this old," Palma said.

Rochester Police responded to the complex on Garland Avenue. Within minutes of taking the report, police found a car that fit the description on Fulton Avenue and tried to pull it over. Police say the car did not stop and led police on a chase throughout the city.

During that chase, police say an officer crashed into a pole setting the patrol car on fire. The suspects eventually crashed into another car in Gates before they were arrested.

Grateful to be alive, Palma wants changes at her apartment building.

"If it wasn't me, it would've happened to somebody else. It's gotta stop here," Palma said. "There's no security, no security guard here and no cameras."

Jack Kenny Memorial is managed by Elderly Housing Development and Operations Corporation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

News10NBC reached out to the local apartment manager and the Florida company to ask if there are any plans to increase security at the complex.

We haven't heard back yet.


Kaci Jones

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