Jackson Heights purse-snatching victim dies following assault

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An alleged purse snatcher who attacked an 80-year-old woman in Jackson Heights last week could face manslaughter charges after the victim died of injuries related to the incident, police reported.

Jordan Vecchio, 32, of Pitkin Avenue in Brooklyn reportedly assaulted Jackson Heights resident Celica Londono, 80, while grabbing her purse at the corner of 76th Street and 35th Avenue at 4:40 p.m. on Sept. 5.

According to authorities, Londono was walking with a 92-year-old female relative when Vecchio allegedly approached her, cut Londono’s purse strap and then shoved her to the ground. He reportedly fled the location on foot with the purse.

Eyewitnesses to the incident called 911 and later assisted 115th Precinct officers in tracking down Vecchio following a search and foot pursuit. Londono’s purse, along with the box cutter the suspect allegedly used in the robbery, were recovered by police.

Following the episode, police said, Londono complained of abdominal pain and was brought by paramedics to Elmhurst Hospital. Doctors diagnosed her with a ruptured intestine, and the woman underwent emergency surgery, authorities said.

Complications later set in, and Londono died at Elmhurst Hospital on Wednesday, Sept. 9. Following an autopsy, police noted, the Medical Examiner’s office declared her death a homicide resulting from the ruptured intestine sustained after she fell.

Vecchio remains behind bars on charges of second-degree assault and robbery charges as well as additional counts of criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of stolen property, according to court records.

Additional charges are pending the results of the ongoing investigation, police said.


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