By Ralph Iannotti

Follow KDKA-TV: Facebook | Twitter

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Police are asking for help from the public as they try to track down the man accused of attacking a 71-year-old woman while she was doing volunteer work in Oakland.

The violent, daylight street robbery happened on a Sunday afternoon, on Oct. 15.

Pittsburgh Police Det. James McGee said, “The victim was a 71-year-old woman, who was just leaving one of the local universities, after volunteering. As she was walking home, outbound, on Forbes Avenue, she started to be followed by the suspect.”

The assault-robbery is a joint investigation by both Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University Police. The victim was trailed for several blocks, and at the corner of Forbes Avenue and Beeler Street, the attacker threw her to the sidewalk and took off with her purse.”

The suspect was described as being about 5-feet-9-inches tall and wore a gray, hooded sweatshirt and dark pants.

He not only followed the victim before assaulting her, but at one point, he walked in front of her.

After he got her purse, he ran off, but police said he didn’t get very far.

“During the robbery, the victim sustained a broken leg in two places, abrasions, and contusions,” Det. McGee said. “There were several people who witnessed it. They chased the actor, and once he was cornered near some bushes, he told people he had a knife, and to step back, which they did, and he ran off.”

As the robber fled, he dropped the woman’s purse. The victim is still recovering from her injuries.

If you have any information on the case, the Pittsburgh Crime Stoppers number is 412-255-8477. There is a reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

You can remain anonymous and there is a reward.

More From CBS Pittsburgh

Get The All New CBS Local App
KDKA Weather App
CBS All Access

Watch & Listen LIVE