Natchez police arrest man in connection to assault on New Year’s Eve

Published 12:09 am Friday, January 3, 2014

NATCHEZ — Natchez police arrested a man Thursday who reportedly confessed to assaulting a woman while trying to snatch her purse at the Isle of Capri Casino on New Year’s Eve.

Detective Jerry Ford said Damien Watson, 30, told police he went to the casino to gamble in an attempt to use winnings to replace money he had spent on drugs.

Watson was in custody as of 6 p.m. Thursday but had not been charged.

Email newsletter signup

The victim of the robbery told police she was walking to the bus in the Isle of Capri Casino parking lot when a man wearing dark clothing and a wool hat grabbed her from behind and tried to take her purse, according to a report at the NPD.

The victim told police when the attacker tried to snatch the purse, she held on and he started to punch her in the back of the head and drag her down the street.

The report says a witness to the crime — a woman — tried to intervene by screaming for help and then using her own purse to beat the attacker.

The attacker reportedly tried to take the second woman’s purse but was unsuccessful.

Witnesses said the attacker was finally able to get the victim’s purse away from her and flee the scene on foot before jumping into a maroon vehicle, the report said.

The victim received a cut to the knee and showed swelling on her forehead, the report said. Items taken with the purse included debit cards, ID cards, keys and a cell phone.

The items were later recovered.