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80-year-old woman in ICU, man arrested after Cheektowaga purse-snatching attempt

A court gavel with an American flag behind it.

Police have arrested Michael Sawyer, 32, of Snyder, after an 80-year-old woman was seriously injured during an attempted purse snatching.

It happened around 5:15 p.m. Tuesday in a supermarket parking lot at Harlem Road and Kensington Avenue in Cheektowaga. Witnesses said a white male dragged the woman after grabbing her purse handles and was driving a stolen white Jeep in the parking lot.

The woman was hospitalized in intensive care. The vehicle was found parked on Miller Avenue near Broadway in Buffalo. Police from both Cheektowaga and Buffalo watched the vehicle and arrested Sawyer, after a short foot chase, when he returned to vehicle. Police said a witness identified Sawyer as the man driving the Jeep.

Sawyer was arraigned Wednesday in Cheektowaga Town Court on a felony attempted robbery charge, plus assault for causing injury to a person during the commission of a felony. Bail was set at $200,000.

Police said Sawyer has been arrested 24 times since 2010, including 14 felonies, and has been involved in police vehicle chases 10 times since 2016.