Mountain-Biking Mugger Arrested in St. Albans, Police Say
QUEENS — Police have arrested a mountain biker who they say beat and robbed elderly women in Queens, punching them in the face and snatching their purses.
Blake Wingate, 49, of Queens Village, allegedly approached two women in their 70s on two separate occasions last week as he was riding a light blue bike.
Both attacks occurred in broad daylight, in the area near Linden Boulevard in St. Albans, police said.
During the first incident, which took place last Wednesday at 2:10 p.m., Wingate allegedly punched a 72-year-old woman in the face.
After she fell, he snatched her purse with $500 and a credit card inside, and fled on his bike, according to the criminal complaint.
The woman's face was swollen and she had a blood spot in her left eye, the complaint said.
Wingate struck again the following day, when at 10:15 a.m. he attacked a 73-year-old woman, authorities said. According to the complaint, he put his arms around her neck and pulled her to the ground.
He then grabbed her purse, which contained two credit cards, gold earrings and $400, the complaint added.
The woman suffered pain to her back and her left elbow was swollen, according to the Queens DA's office.
“It could be any of our mothers or grandmothers,” said Deputy Inspector Miltiadis Marmara, the commanding officer of the 113th Precinct in South Jamaica, earlier this week.
A number of plainclothes officers patrolled the area after the attacks.
Wingate was arrested on Tuesday, Jan. 21, and charged with robbery and assault, police said.`