Woman gets broken jaw in handbag snatch attack on Cottesloe Beach

A paramedic consoles the victim while police interview a witness. Picture: Jon Bassett.
A paramedic consoles the victim while police interview a witness. Picture: Jon Bassett.

A 59-YEAR-OLD woman has a broken jaw after being punched by a man during a violent robbery involving two men at Cottesloe Beach yesterday.

The attacker took the woman’s handbag during the incident, which happened on a bench near the grass terraces that overlook the beach.

“One of the suspects has struck her to the face and she received a broken jaw,” Detective-Senior Sergeant Dixie Johnson said.

Det-Snr Sgt Johnson said it appeared the attacker said nothing to his victim, and it was an “unprovoked and brazen attack”.

In a statement this afternoon, police said the woman refused when she was approached by a man who asked her for a cigarette, and he walked away before a second man approached her and apologised.

The woman was then punched by one of the two men and her bag and phone were stolen.

One of the men ran towards Stirling Highway or Curtin Avenue, while the second man ran in an unknown direction.

The woman was initially treated by nearby surf lifesavers, before she was taken to hospital by St John Ambulance WA from were she was released this morning.

Police at the scene of the attack at Cottesloe Beach. Picture: Jon Bassett.

A spokesman for Surf Lifesaving WA said its command centre received a request to attend an incident at the beach at 5.34pm.

“Immediately, SurfCom dispatched the lifeguard team who attended the injured member of the public, and once on scene the lifeguard provided first aid in support of a suspected injury to the casualty’s jaw until St John Ambulance arrived,” the spokesman said.

Det-Snr Sgt Johnson said the woman was in Cottesloe visiting her son, who lives in the area.

The handbag contained only cash and a mobile phone.

A witness told police that he chased the robber, who was dressed in black, across the adjacent Seaview Golf Course.

The witness said the attacker was met by a second man, also in black, who had a brown dog and a ‘fluffy’ dog, before they both headed across nearby Harvey Field.

Police at the scene of the attack at Cottesloe Beach. Picture: Jon Bassett.

Det-Snr Sgt Johnson said the number of people involved in the crime was still being investigated, and no suspicious vehicle had been reported in the area.

Forensic police examined the seating where the attack took place last night.

Det-Snt Sgt Johnson said the Cottesloe Beach crime was not suspected to be connected to recent burglaries in Peppermint Grove where men were found by residents in garages, or one where a burglar waved to his victim in Mosman Park.