BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The search is on for a man who stole a purse and computer tablet from a woman who had just gotten off a Broward County bus ahead of him, according to the Broward Sheriff's Office.
It happened about 12:15 a.m. New Year's Eve after Kelsey Reeser, 24, stepped off the No. 2 bus on the 6100 block of N. University Drive in Tamarac, according to the investigative report.
"I got slammed from behind, hard, and my face broke my fall," she said. "I was stomped on, punched in the head and my things were taken."
The attacker ran off and Reeser stumbled into an International House of Pancakes restaurant seeking help. One of the cooks tried to chase the suspect without success, she said.
The suspect was spotted in North Lauderdale about 90 minutes later near where her empty purse was eventually found, she said.
Her $600 tablet, all her identification, gift cards, cash, checks and personal items were gone.
"Pretty much everything I had from Christmas was taken from me that night," Reeser said.
She was wearing a cellphone earphone and talking to her fiance Robert Schock in New Jersey at the time.
"He heard me screaming, he heard the struggle, he heard the sobbing and my screaming but he didn't hear the [suspect] speaking because he wasn't loud enough," she said.
Reeser, a Game Stop manager, said she suffered injuries to her face, hand and knee requiring hospital treatment.
"It was worse the next day when my face bruised up," she said. "My eye was swollen shut."
Broward Sheriff's detectives have released surveillance video of the suspect on the bus. He is seen wearing a polo shirt with red and beige horizontal stripes and blue jeans. He was talking to another man across the aisle. Reeser thinks the suspect was planning to rob her and the other man was trying to dissuade him.
"His buddy was like, 'No, no, no,' over and over again," she said. "He was shaking his head like, 'you're stupid, don't do it.'"
Reeser is moving back to New Jersey next month but wants to catch the suspect before she does.
"He picked the wrong person and I just want him to understand that what he's done is not without consequence and it's going to be taken care of," she said. "Hopefully someone will stand up and say 'enough' and turn him in."
Detectives are urging anyone who recognizes the suspect in the video or has information about the robbery to contact Det. Steven Hoover at 954-321-4270 or Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477.