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Robber sentenced to 10 years for violent purse snatching

A judge sentenced a repeat felon to 10 years in prison for robbing an elderly woman of her purse and slamming her head on concrete, the Erie County District Attorney's Office announced Monday.

Clay Rhodes Jr., 60, of Buffalo, grabbed her purse and violently pushed her to the ground at about 11:55 p.m. on May 27 as she was returning to her Owahn Place home. The woman fell, fracturing her pelvis in two places.

Neighbors heard her screams and spotted Rhodes climbing a fence into their backyard. One of the neighbors chased Clay while on the phone with a 911 operator. After a brief search, police found him.

District Attorney John J. Flynn commended police officers Jocko Mondal and Ian Baker as well as Det. James McMahon. He also commended the neighbor.

The sentence from State Supreme Court Justice M. William Boller followed Rhodes' guilty pleas to felony robbery and assault.

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