PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Providence man suspected of physically assaulting two women and stealing their handbags faced a judge on Monday.
Jamal Bouchard, 27, was ordered held without bail after he was arraigned on two counts of first-degree robbery.
According to police, the first incident took place around 8:30 p.m. Saturday. The victim, a 30-year-old woman, told police she got into the elevator above the CVS and when the doors closed, a man who was already inside the elevator punched her in the face then grabbed her hair and continued hitting her until she fell to the ground.
The suspect took off with the woman’s purse which contained personal documents, cash and credit cards. Police said he told the victim to stay in the elevator then ran off.
About five and a half hours later, police responded to a report of another robbery near the mall, this time at the intersection of Francis Street and Finance Way. They said they arrived to find a crowd of people surrounding the victim, who was suffering from a cut on her forehead and a bruise under her eye.
The 25-year-old woman told police the suspect pushed her to the ground from behind and made off with her purse, which contained her phone and other personal effects. Police said she was treated for her injuries at Roger Williams Hospital and released.
A man matching the description of the suspect provided by an eyewitness was spotted sitting on a bench at Burnside Park. The man, later identified as Bouchard, attempted to run as police approached but officers soon caught up with him on Union Street. The victim’s phone fell out of Bouchard’s pocket during the chase, according to police.
A spokesperson for Providence Place told Eyewitness News that only the first robbery took place on mall property, adding that it was an isolated incident and the management is glad the suspect is now in custody.