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Woman Repeatedly Punched, Robbed Of $1.70 During Broad Daylight In Central Park

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A woman was attacked and robbed during a walk in Central Park -- over a dollar and some change.

On Friday, police were searching for the suspect and warned all parkgoers to be on high alert.

CBS2's Ilana Gold talked to the victim about her frightening experience.

The secluded path by 102nd Street and West Drive was the scene of a crime at around 11 a.m. on Wednesday. Police said the suspect, seen in a white T-shirt and jeans, targeted a woman walking alone from the Great Hill area.

She spoke to Gold by phone on Friday about the scary incident.

"I was afraid he would have a knife or something like that," she said.

The 26-year-old woman said the man, believed to be in his late 30s, was walking in the opposite direction when he jumped right in front of her and demanded she hand over her purse. But when she held onto it he punched her in the face repeatedly and she fell on the ground.

"My head is swollen. I hurt my knee. I hurt my wrist. I hurt another ankle," she said.

The robber grabbed her belongings from the trail and took off. The victim said he only got away with $1.70.

"I also had my computer and other things in it, but he threw it right back to me and took the wallet," the woman said.

There have been several crimes in and around Central Park in recent months, including several muggings and an attempted kidnapping. Statistics from the NYPD show there's been 16 robberies since the beginning of 2015. That's double the number from same time last year.

Other people who use the park told Gold they are concerned.

"I keep my eyes on the kids. I look out for others, too," said Seeta Sarju of Ozone Park.

Police said both men and women have been victimized at all times of the day and night in various locations across the park, adding only a few cases are linked.

"We have millions and millions of people coming through Central Park. We've been calling for additional police officers and additional park enforcement officers," said NYC Parks Advocates president Geoffrey Croft.

Police have stepped up patrols in the park over the last few months. They are telling parkgoers to be on high alert, and the most recent victim has some advice as well.

"Just stay close to where there are more people," the woman said.

Because being on a more heavily traveled path could prevent another crime.

Police have made several arrests in connection with the Central Park robberies, but they still haven't found the man behind this week's crime, Gold reported.

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