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11-19-08, 10:49 PM #1
A feisty Harlem woman turned the tables on three subway muggers, chasing down two of the thugs
A feisty Harlem woman turned the tables on three subway muggers, chasing down two of the thugs while snatching back her purse - because it had her green card in it, cops said yesterday.
Marie Conde, 26, was riding a downtown 3 train at 5:30 a.m. Sunday and had briefly dozed off when three punks confronted her as it pulled into the 72nd Street station.
"I opened my eyes, and one of them punched me in the right eye," the French-speaking Guinean immigrant told The Post through an interpreter.
"I just started screaming really loud. And then one of them grabbed my purse and they ran out.
"I didn't know what to do, so I just started running after them. I grabbed one of them by the arm."
As she held on for dear life and struggled with the thieves, she yelled over to two people to call cops.
As she continued to grab at the muggers, they decided they had enough. One of them begged Conde to let go of his accomplice.
"Leave him alone!" the thug cried out. "He's my friend!"
The gang gave up and ran away, leaving the purse on the ground.
But cops quickly nabbed John Sabater, 19, and Carlos Gonzalez, 16, both from The Bronx.
The original purse-snatcher got away.
Conde suffered facial bruises.
"I didn't even have money in my purse," she said. "I had my green card and papers that I didn't want to lose. It wasn't about the money, it was about the papers.
A law-enforcement source lauded Conde's spunk, but at the same time urged other crime victims to surrender when confronted by bad guys.
"She is one bad-ass mama," the source said.
"She did a very courageous thing. But you shouldn't take matters in your own hands like that. It could be very dangerous, and potentially lethal."
Conde's father, Sekou, who was a police officer in Guinea, agreed with his NYPD counterpart.
"She shouldn't have gone after him, because you don't know what they could have done to her," he said. "But I'm glad she's all right."
The two captured teens were both charged with robbery in the second degree, according to the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.
Sabater was being held in lieu of $3,500 cash bail yesterday, while Gonzalez was still in jail on $1,000 bail.
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