Huffpost Chicago

Magnificent Mile Robbery: Woman Attacked, Robbed In Chicago's Gold Coast

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Pedestrians walk along a shopping district on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago on Friday, Dec. 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Pedestrians walk along a shopping district on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago on Friday, Dec. 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Updated story

A 44-year-old woman was choked from behind and robbed Friday morning in the heart of Chicago's downtown shopping district.

According to NBC Chicago, the woman was approached by a male attacker around 8:19 a.m. Black Friday at 55 East Erie. The man reportedly choked the woman to the ground and made off with her purse.

Richard D. Mendoza, a 31-year-old parolee, has been identified by police as the alleged attacker and charged with robbery and battery. Mendoza has previously been convicted of armed robbery, strong armed robbery and burglary, according to CBS Chicago.

Two Good Samaritans chased after the man, the Chicago Tribune reports, while police were called and prevented a cab Mendoza had hailed from leaving the scene.

The victim was taken to a nearby hospital for observation, according to ABC Chicago.

The Black Friday robbery is the latest in a series of violent crimes in the busy shopping area over the last week.

Shortly after the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Saturday, a doctor was stabbed during an attempted robbery inside a restaurant's restroom in the 900 block of North Michigan. A restaurant employee was slashed when he came to the victim's defense. The same weekend, a police officer fired a shot at a driver who tried to run them over while fleeing the scene of a robbery of an American Apparel store in the 100 block of East Walton.

The Illinois State Rifle Association argued this week that the recent incidents are proof "that the Gold Coast area is not safe" and that the state needs to pass concealed carry legislation.

"In the summer it is flash mobs that terrorize visitors to the Magnificent Mile and now it appears that the hooliganism has extended its reach into the holiday shopping season," ISRA executive director Richard Pearson said in a statement.

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