Man arrested for punching woman, stealing her purse in Harlem is released: NYPD

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Update: Jesse Hardy, the man initially accused in the Harlem mugging described below, has been released as prosecutors declined to continue with the case brought against him, according to police. Additional details were not provided. 

HARLEM, Manhattan – A man was arrested on Friday for punching a woman and then taking her purse in Harlem.

The victim, 35, was leaving the subway station on 145th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue when Jesse Hardy, 28, approached from her behind at 146th Street and Bradhurst Avenue, police said. The suspect allegedly told the victim he had a gun and took her handbag before punching the victim in the face.

The victim was taken to the hospital where she was treated for her injuries. The suspect fled at the time until he was caught Friday.

After initially reporting a sexual assault, police say it didn’t happen during the encounter. Police sources say Hardy is a different suspect than the individual who attacked a German tourist on Thursday.

Hardy, who lives in the Bronx, was charged with robbery, police said.