Schenectady County

Schenectady teen accused of robbing nun

A city teen allegedly knocked a nun to the ground and stole her purse Thursday afternoon, but witnes
Shawaski T. Kirk
Shawaski T. Kirk

A city teen allegedly knocked a nun to the ground and stole her purse Thursday afternoon, but witnesses were credited with helping police catch him.

The nun, clad in her religious habit, was shoved to the ground from behind after visiting parishioners at an area hospital, police said. She suffered minor scratches and scrapes in the attack.

“It’s just a tragic event,” city police spokesman Sgt. Matthew Dearing said Thursday evening, “especially with the victim and her position in the community. It kind of changes the dynamic.”

Shawaski T. Kirk, 17, of Lansing Street, was charged with third-degree robbery and other charges.

Thursday’s incident came three days after Kirk was charged with possessing a stolen debit card and cellphone, police indicated.

Police did not identify the nun or give her age, except to say she was elderly.

She was walking in the area of Chrisler and Vermont avenues just after 4 p.m. when Kirk approached her from behind, knocked her to the ground and grabbed her purse, Dearing said.

Dearing credited neighbors who saw the incident with giving officers a detailed description of the teen. One neighbor even chased the suspect toward Crane Street, Dearing said.

Converging officers picked up the pursuit, chasing him through backyards on Van Velsen Street. They soon found and arrested him on the roof of a garage on Lakeview Avenue.

Dearing said they found Kirk in possession of multiple items stolen from cars in preceding hours. The nun’s purse was found along the chase route, police said.

Kirk was being held overnight for arraignment this morning on the robbery charge, as well as multiple counts of felony criminal possession of stolen property and misdemeanor petty larceny.

Kirk was arrested Monday on two counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property. He is accused in that case of possessing a Trustco debit card and two cellphones stolen from a person at Ellis Hospital, according to court papers.

Kirk was arraigned and ordered held in that case on $5,000 bond. Someone posted his bond in that case Wednesday at 5 p.m. — 23 hours before he allegedly robbed the nun.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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