MODESTO (CBS13) – A man has been arrested after he allegedly choked a 76-year-old woman who refused to give up her purse in front of a Modesto Sears.

The incident happened early Sunday afternoon at the Vintage Faire Mall.

Modesto police say the woman was about to walk into the Sears from the east entrance when a man lunged at her and demanded her purse. When she refused to give it up, police say the man started choking her.

Mark Heisser's booking photo. (Credit: Modesto Police Department)

Mark Heisser’s booking photo. (Credit: Modesto Police Department)

The woman was able to get away and went into the mall for help.

Officers who responded to the scene looked at security footage and were able to identify the suspect. He was caught across the street from mall in front of a Sizzler.

The man, 33-year-old Modesto resident Mark Heisser, has been booked into Stanislaus County Jail and is facing charges of assault, attempted robbery and elder abuse.

The 76-year-old woman had red marks on her neck. She was taken to the hospital to be treated, but she has since been released.

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