PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Local News

December 27, 2013

Man suspected of punching woman, stealing purse arrested

PORT ARTHUR — A 21-year-old Port Arthur man suspected of punching a woman in the face and stealing her purse as she left a local grocery store has been arrested.

Jose Buendia was arrested about 2:40 p.m. Friday and charged with robbery. Judge Gist set bond at $100,000.

Buendia, a suspected member of the 5 Deuce Hoova street gang, was picked up by police in the Peek Avenue area, Port Arthur Police Investigator Marcello Molfino said.

The victim, age 64, was leaving HE.B. on Gulfway Drive on Dec. 21 when a man struck her in the face with his fist and grabbed her purse. She had just exited the store and was walking to her car when attacked.

The suspect fled on foot behind the store with the purse and a witness in the parking lot saw the suspect run with the purse and began chasing him. About a block into the foot chase another man that was in his yard joined in and the two were able to grab onto the suspect and get the woman’s purse and all of its contents back.

The two witnesses tried to hang on to the suspect but the suspect was able to get away from them and fled on foot.

“The community has a right to feel safe,” Molfino said. “We are not going to tolerate gang violence.”

Community members who came forward were lauded for helping with the investigation.

Molfino also gave credit to PAPD Investigator Peter Croak for the work he did during the investigation.

Buendia is also a person of interest in a similar crime that occurred outside the Groves H.E.B. around the same time, Molfino added.

E-mail: mmeaux@panews.com

Twitter: MaryMeauxPANews

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