PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- One woman's Valentine's Day was almost ruined by a thief but police said a few good Samaritans helped save the day.
Gilbert Perez, 18, of Peekskill is facing charges of second degree robbery, a C felony, and second degree assault, a D felony, after police said he attempted to forcibly steal more than $1,800 from a 29-year-old woman at the Variedades Ecaumundo store on Bank Street at around 2:20 p.m. Tuesday.
"She was doing a transaction to send her family money in Ecuador," explained Peekskill Police Spokesperson Sgt. Ray Henderlong. "When she took the money out he reached over and grabbed the money at which time there was a struggle."
The victim was punched in the face by the suspect as he tried to get the money, according to police. Three Westchester Community College students came to the aid of the victim, which resulted in the suspects jacket and shirt being pulled off. A person from the nearby workman's compensation office building then pursued the suspect providing police with a direction of where he went, police said.
Perez was taken into custody within minutes of the crime by Police Lt. Eric Johansen.
"He was caught right near Pugsley Park," Henderlong said. "He was hiding in a shrubbery area."
The unnamed victim received medical attention at Hudson Valley Hospital center and was later released. Perez was arraigned and remanded without bail to the Westchester County jail. He is scheduled to appear in city court on Feb. 16.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.