Korean American Queens legislator tackles street purse snatcher

September 21, 2015
New York State Assemblyman Ron Kim holds down a purse snatcher Thursday in downtown Flushing after tackling the thief.

New York State Assemblyman Ron Kim holds down a purse snatcher Thursday in downtown Flushing after tackling the thief.

Purse snatchers of New York, watch out for your district assemblyman — Ron Kim (D-Flushing), the state legislature’s first-ever Korean American member, chased and caught a thief on the streets of downtown Flushing last week.

The assemblyman reportedly tackled a 25-year-old man, Daniel Fish, to the ground after hearing the young man snatched a purse from walking mother with a stroller around 1 p.m., according to the New York Police Department.

A good Samaritan got the bag back from Fish, but he fled after.

That’s when Kim — walking to his office near Main Street and 38th Street — saw the Samaritan chasing after Fish. He joined the chase, all the while calling 911.

Kim and the Samaritan had lost Fish when someone shouted, “That’s him!”

Kim tackled Fish to the ground after another foot pursuit and held him there until police got to the scene. Kim’s glasses were reportedly broken in the process.

“I was angry that something like this was happening in my district in broad daylight. I wanted to make sure the purse snatcher was caught,” Kim said. “I threw my body thinking that this could happen to my wife, who walks around Flushing every day.”

Kim said he believes the thief may suffer from mental issues.

“We need to come up with a solution to help the homeless and those with mental problems,” he said.

According to the NYPD, Fish took the purse from the mother after being denied money.

Kim has held his seat since 2012. He immigrated to the United States with his family when he was seven years old and played on the football team during his time at Hamilton College, where he majored in political science.

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