At around 6:30 p.m., the woman was in the Kohl’s parking lot walking toward the store when the man approached her from behind and struck her in the back of her head, Mangan said.
As the victim staggered, the man kicked her in the back, sending her to the ground. He continued kicking and stepping on her until she let go of her purse.
“It was pretty gutsy,” Mangan said of the assault and robbery, which occurred not long after sundown in an adequately-lit area. “That doesn’t happen too often. We want to get this guy.”
A passerby nearly did.
As the woman laid on the ground, she saw a man, whose identity is not known by the police, run after the robber, who escaped into a silver car occupied by two other men and sped off.
The suspect is described as in his 20s, 6 feet tall and 175 pounds. He was wearing a black, long-sleeved shirt and dark jeans, and left behind a red baseball hat with the letters “LA” stitched into it, police said.
The woman received medical treatment at Potomac Hospital for mild abrasions and was released, Mangan said.
“It is unusual for anyone to be injured in a situation like this,” said Police Chief Charlie T. Deane. “But robberies do have a different ring to people. There is a potential for personal violence.”
A spokesman from the Kohl’s corporate office in Wisconsin declined to comment on Sunday’s incident, saying that it was a police matter, but that the company was cooperating with authorities.
Anyone with information about this incident should call Prince William Crime Solvers at (703) 670-3700. A reward of up to $1,000 is offered for information leading to an arrest.
Staff writer Adam H. Beasley can be reached at (703) 878-8073.