'I was absolutely terrified'; bruised Brevard waitress followed home, attacked for purse

Palm Bay police investigating two purse snatchings in same neighborhood

By James Sparvero - Reporter

A Palm Bay woman is putting up home security cameras and carrying pepper spray after police said someone followed her home after work, roughed her up outside her front door and stole her purse.

"I was absolutely terrified," victim Katherine Kowalyszyn told News 6. She said she was in fear for her life early Sunday morning after coming home from serving at Siggy's restaurant on Malabar Road.

"I didn't know if this man had a knife, or a gun, of if he was going to injure me," she said.

"And I'm kicking and kicking as hard as I could, screaming at the top of my lungs, 'Somebody, please help me. Please, help me call 911.'"

Kowalyszyn and another purse-snatching victim in her own southeast Palm Bay neighborhood both lived to tell police their stories.

Investigators said that on Tuesday morning, another woman, also a waitress but at a different restaurant, was robbed of her purse in front of her home.

"We compared stories and it's the same person," Kowalyszyn said.

"I'm confident that it is the same. She said the same thing - black pants, black T-shirt and a black hat."

Police told News 6 Wednesday they're not sure yet if it's the same robber.

Investigators and the victims are both calling on neighbors to be on high alert.

"If you think someone's following you, definitely call 911, and we will put the nearest car on it to check it out," said Lt. Mike Bandish with the Palm Bay Police Department.

Anyone with information about either purse snatching is asked to call Palm Bay police or leave an anonymous tip with Crimeline.

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