ATLANTA, Ga. - A wheelchair-bound woman says she was robbed by a man who pretended to offer her help. She fears he may strike again, possibly staking out other potential victims.
The woman, who asked to be identified as Christine to protect her identity, said she noticed a young man watching her as she came to run errands at a Family Dollar on Oct. 19.
When her wheelchair got stuck in a rut on the sidewalk of Marietta Boulevard in northwest Atlanta, she said the same man approached from behind and offered to help; he stole her bag instead.
"He's right behind my chair and he
says, 'Do you need some help?' I said, 'No thank you. I don't,' and he reached over the back headrest of my chair," she said.
She said the man walked off after taking her bag. Christine said she was already suspicious of the man, who approached her from a nearby wooded area, because she noticed him the day before when he appeared to be following her as she left the same store.
She called police to report the incident. She said the next day her boyfriend went with her to pick up medication at the CVS on Marietta Boulevard, where they saw the man again.
The police report states that Christine's boyfriend confronted him. Christine said the man hit her boyfriend with a stick, then ran off and made a frightening threat.
"'I'm going to get a gun. I'm going to come back and use
it,'" she recalled the man saying.
Police searched the area but didn't find the man, who Christine called a predator for preying on vulnerable people.
Christine has used a wheelchair for the past six years after spinal meningitis caused her to lose the ability to walk. She now fears
the man may target other people in similar situations.
"I'm angry because he's taken away my security. I've never had to look over my shoulder," she said. "I do now."
She urges others to be careful of their
surroundings, and Atlanta police urge anyone with information about this case to give them a call.