Photo Courtesy of NYPD
By Michael V. Cusenza
The homeless man who allegedly beat a woman unconscious before snatching her purse—all in front of her toddler son last week on a Woodhaven street—has been charged with robbery and assault, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
Derrick Chirse, 57, was arraigned last Wednesday afternoon on a criminal complaint charging him with one count of second-degree robbery, one count each of second- and third-degree assault, fifth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and endangering the welfare of a child. Chirse was ordered held on $100,000 bail. His next court date is Oct. 19.
According to charging documents, the victim, Taslima Mazumder, 35, of Ozone Park, and her 4-year-old son were walking down 84th Street near Atlantic Avenue last Monday around 2 p.m. when Chirse approached them and allegedly asked Mazumder for her purse. When she refused, Chirse allegedly punched her multiple times in the head and chest area. Afterwards, Chirse snatched her purse and fled the location on foot.
Chirse was arrested the following day at the Kingsboro Star Men’s Shelter after being identified on video surveillance, allegedly admitted to committing the crime, telling detectives “I wish I never did it. If she would’ve given me the 10 bucks I wouldn’t have punched her.”
Mazumder sustained bruising and swelling to the left side of her face and tenderness to her chest and torso.
If convicted, Chirse faces up to 15 years in prison.
The incident was one of two attacks by homeless men in South Queens in a seven-day period. On Monday, Oct. 8, around 11:30 p.m., another woman was punched on 101st Avenue in Ozone Park before her husband stepped in to ward off the undomiciled assailant.
The assaults have touched an already frayed nerve in the area. Since June, the Ozone Park Residents Block Association has organized several protests in front of the 85-15 101st Ave., the proposed site of a City shelter that is set to house 113 single men with mental illness. The civic group has scheduled another rally at the site for this Friday, Oct. 12, at 3 p.m.