According to footage of the incident released by police, the individual approached a 40-year-old female on Friday at around 10 a.m. Following a struggle, the victim was punched in the face by the suspect, who proceeded to flee the park with her iPhone.
An NYPD spokesperson told Fox News that a bystander was able to retrieve the victim's iPhone after confronting the mugger, which was not caught on camera. However, the suspect remains at large.
The victim refused medical attention at the scene.
The suspect is said to be in his mid 40's, approximately 5 feet 5 inches, 140 to 150 pounds, light complexion, thin build, light gray facial hair, wearing a purple hooded sweatshirt.
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Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit anonymous tips on the CrimeStoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or on Twitter @NYPDTips. Police are offering a reward of up to $3,500.
Friday's incident comes as New York City robberies, which include muggings, are up nearly 40% over the past month, with 1,086 incidents reported so far in 2021 compared to 782 incidents reported during the same period in 2020, according to the latest NYPD crime data.
Assaults are also up about 18% over the past month, with 1,847 incidents recorded so far in 2021 compared to 1,565 incidents recorded during the same period in 2020. Meanwhile, murders are down 34% with 31 incidents recorded in the past month compared to 47 during the same time last year.