Houston police arrested two teens in connection with a robbery that left a woman paralyzed, authorities announced in a press conference Friday.
"This type of violence will not be tolerated in our city. It is just senseless," Houston's Chief of Police Troy Finner said.
"I just spoke to [the victim] Ms. Truong about an hour ago. She has very serious injuries. The recovery is very long," Finner also said. "I want her to know the love of our agency, but also our great citizens in this city."
Joseph Harrell, 17, and 19-year-old Zy'Nika Ayesha Woods are now charged with aggravated robbery in the "jugging" incident that occurred February 13 at 9800 Bellaire Blvd. in Houston.
The victim, 44-year-old Nhung Truong, had withdrawn money from a bank, and the suspect allegedly followed her 24 miles away to a shopping center, KRIV reported.
The suspect allegedly attempted to grab the mother of three, spilling her belongings onto the sidewalk. After running off with her wallet, the suspect allegedly went back and body-slammed the petite woman. He then ran off again, this time with the envelope containing the $4,300 she had withdrawn from the bank in advance of a trip to visit family in Vietnam, Fox News reported.
The injuries Truong suffered left her paralyzed. The single mom now has to rely on a wheelchair and help from her three children, KRIV also reported.
After reviewing surveillance footage, investigators found the license plate for the vehicle the suspects were driving. They located the vehicle and determined that Woods was the driver, according to KRIV.
"When I saw [the video], it made me mad as h*** ... he slammed her down like she was a bag of potatoes," Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said during the conference.
"If you are foolish enough to commit these types of crimes," Turner said, "we will find you and we will get you off the streets."
A GoFundMe campaign for Truong has raised more than $290,000 as of Tuesday afternoon. According to the GoFundMe page update, Truong was discharged from the hospital Friday.
What is jugging?
Jugging is a "form of theft that includes robbery. It occurs when a suspect follows a victim from a bank to their next location ... victims are approached, threatened with violence, or assaulted while the suspect demands the money," as the Austin Police Department explains in an advisory on the disturbing trend.
Police offer several pieces of advice to avoid being victimized by this crime. That advice includes always maintaining awareness of surroundings; avoiding leaving cash inside vehicles; changing routes taken from the bank; being discreet about the way you carry cash, credit and debit cards, and checks, and calling 911 if you believe you're being followed.
Houston-area jugging incidents soared in 2022, according to KPRC.
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