A man who first appeared to be a good Samaritan turned out to be a grinch who stole the purse of an elderly accident victim Wednesday.
The 81-year-old victim and her 78-year-old sister had just come from church when their car was hit by another as it entered traffic on Broadway, near Goodyear Avenue at about 5 p.m.
The car spun around, and the victim, who had been driving, was bleeding heavily from a head cut when passers-by flocked to the car to check on the occupants.
Among them was a young man in his late teens or perhaps early 20s. "He asked her if she was OK and grabbed her purse . . . and ran off with it," Broadway Station Officer Martin Forero said.
The purse had been on the front seat of the car, between the two sisters.
The thief was seen getting into a gray car, and another witness gave police the license plate number. Forero and Officers Douglas Kopp, James Reese and Joseph Walters pursued the lead on the car, but it turned out the plate was stolen.
"Everybody was in total disbelief that somebody could be so cruel," Forero said.
The woman and her sister, who live together, were taken to St. Joseph Hospital in Cheektowaga for treatment of their injuries. Their conditions could not be learned late Wednesday.