Alleged subway purse snatcher arrested

May 21, 2008 8:23:58 PM PDT
Police on Wednesday arrested a man they believe is behind a string of purse snatchings in Lower Manhattan subway stations.Authorities says 25-year-old Mark McIntoch was taken into custody earlier Wednesday and was questioned at the First Precinct for hours.

He was then charged in connection with six robberies in the last two weeks. Police say they received a tip and picked him up at a homeless shelter.

"I'm sorry for what I did," McIntoch told reporters before getting in a police car. "I apologize, deeply."

Authorities say McIntoch got careless and told others at the shelter of his robberies. He is reportedly a drug addict and was stealing the cash to feed his addiction.

The most recent was Tuesday morning at the Rector Street station. Last week, there were four incidents in five days at subway stations in the East Village, NoHo and Greenwich Village.

On Tuesday, the 24-year-old victim was standing on the platform when the suspect grabbed her purse just before 10 a.m. The force of the attack knocked the victim to the ground.

The suspect jumped from the platform onto the tracks and ran into the subway tunnel. He ran to the next station and escaped.

The woman's purse was recovered, but an unknown amount of money was missing. The woman treated for a scrape to her knee.

"I just meant to take the money," he said, when asked if he meant to hurt anyone. "That's all."

McIntoch is charged with grand larceny, robbery and resisting arrest.