Woman robbed at gunpoint in Mountain View


A woman suffered a laceration to the head after attempting to fight off an armed purse-snatcher in Mountain View Monday night, police said.

The 34-year-old victim was walking home in the 400 block of Dell Avenue at about 8:30 p.m. when she heard someone behind her coming up fast, said Mountain View police spokeswoman Liz Wylie. She started to run away, but the man called out to her to stop so she did, thinking that she may have been fleeing irrationally, Wylie said. That did not turn out to be the case.

The man produced a gun and demanded her purse, so she began running again. He overtook her and pushed her to the ground, and grabbed her purse, Wylie said. She held on, but the man hit her in the back of the head and fled with the purse.

The victim ran home and phoned police, who arrived on the scene with paramedics and treated her for her laceration and abrasions. She declined transport to the hospital, Wylie said.

The victim described her assailant as a young black male, between 20 and 25, wearing all black pants, a sweatshirt and hat.

Wylie said the police department always advises victims of armed robbery to comply with robbers' demands. "It's not worth fighting," Wylie said. "You risk being hurt or killed."

Police are looking for more witnesses and say tips may be made anonymously to 650-903-6344.

— Nick Veronin

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Like this comment
Posted by comply?
a resident of South of Midtown
on Dec 2, 2010 at 4:43 pm

I don't buy the cop's advice to comply with muggers. If a woman gives in, a robbery can easily turn into a rape.

Like this comment
Posted by Justme
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 2, 2010 at 5:08 pm

You should, in theory, comply when threatened with personal harm, it is not worth risking your health or life for simple personal possessions.

However, compliance does not include permitting or enabling the assailant to harm you, compliance ends there.

Compliance can be considered with these demands:
"Give me your wallet, or purse, or cell phone."
"Shut up."
"Stop running."

Compliance should probably not be given in the case of rape, of if he wants to transport you to "someplace more private", or he demands you place others at risk.

Compliance is a personal choice, you may opt not to comply if you think you can get away with non-compliance, but you have to be careful. If a guy points a gun at me and demands my wallet, he will probably get it. If a kid points a rubber chicken at me with the same demand, he will probably fail. Like Clint Eastwood asked: "Do you feel lucky?"

Like this comment
Posted by MAI
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 3, 2010 at 6:59 am

If someone threatens to shoot you and is just asking for money, give it up.

If he does not have a deadly weapon and is trying to do you or a family member physical harm, it almost always pays to fight him off.

Those are pretty clear. There is a gray area in the middle.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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