Updated: Wednesday, 06 Feb 2013, 11:31 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 06 Feb 2013, 11:31 PM EST
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- A woman in a wheelchair escapes a would-be robber, only to be face to face with him again later in the day. Police say the woman was on her way to Stop and Shop on Tuesday when the man tried to rob her and then she ran into him again and police nabbed him.
A wheelchair bound woman was just out running errands when a man tried to rob her. She says it all began at the Walgreens on Whalley Avenue in New haven just before 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
A man dressed as a police officer asked if she needed help, saying there had been a number of robberies in the area. She said she was fine and continued on her way.
The woman made it passed Walgreens to the area of the Merritt Parkway overpassed, headed to Stop and Shop and she says that's when she was robbed.
The victim says the suspect grabbed the handles of the wheelchar and pulled her backward, balancing the chair on it's back wheels. He said he would knock her over if she didn't give him money but she fought back and swung her umbrella and yelled loud enough for people nearby to hear.
The suspect then took off. People who walk in the area say news of the attempted robbery is disturbing.
"Especially because it gets dark early now so we kind of hustle it. If we can't make it earlier in the day, we'll run after school and just run right back. If we can grab the bus if we see it, we will," said Ericka Pheanious of New Haven.
She is less worried now that the suspect is behind bars and it aws the victim who helped with the arrest.
After the robbery attempt the woman was on the bus headed home. She was talking to police on her cell phone when she spotted the suspect a few rows ahead of her. He got off before her but with the help of the bus driver and surveillance video from area stores, police arrested the suspect, Jose Angel Rivera.
He denies what happened, telling police he only asked the woman for a cigarette.
Rivera is behind bars tonight and police identify the victim as Kathleen Ahearn and say she was not injured.