NEW BEDFORD — A New Bedford man will be spending two to three years in prison after confessing to shoving two elderly women and robbing their purses in Dartmouth on two consecutive days in 2019, before fleeing and crashing into a police cruiser.

The Bristol County District Attorney's Office said 44-year-old Miguel Brasil pleaded guilty to two counts each of unarmed robbery and assault and battery on a person over 60, as well as one count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Brasil was caught after leading police on a chase in which he nearly rammed one officer with his vehicle before crashing into another police cruiser. He admitted to the crimes during booking, according to the D.A.'s office, and was ordered held without bail as a danger.

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Dartmouth police were called to the Dartmouth Street Citizens Bank on April 8, 2019 for a reported unarmed robbery of a 77-year-old woman.

The victim was described by the D.A.'s office as "shaken up and distraught" and had minor cuts to her hands, which she said happened when the robber pushed her to the pavement.

After shoving her, the man then pulled her purse off her shoulder, making off with $700 in cash, her credit cards, cell phone, and other belongings.

She told police that her assailant was a heavy white man 40-50 years old who took off in a gray sedan.


Surveillance video near the bank showed the suspect committing the robbery, according to the D.A.'s office.

An image posted to Facebook led to a tip identifying the defendant and the vehicle, which was registered to the defendant's mother.

The day after the first robbery, Dartmouth Police Sgt. Frank Oliveira saw the car parked at Rite Aid, and upon circling the lot, saw the suspect push an elderly woman and pull her purse off her arms.

The second victim was 72 years old, the D.A.'s office said.

According to the office, Brasil nearly crashed into Sgt. Oliveira's  tried to position his cruiser to block the defendant’s vehicle and the defendant nearly crashed into him as he fled.

A short chase took place in which Brasil drove at high speeds, eventually crashing into Sgt. Scott Stanton's police cruiser, also causing another knock-on crash.

The D.A.'s office said Brasil confessed to both crimes during booking and admitted to specifically targeting the elderly women.

Prosecutors had asked for a four to six year prison sentence, but Fall River Superior Court Judge Renee Dupuis ultimately sentenced him to a two to three year prison term followed by two years on probation.

"I am pleased the defendant was held accountable for his conduct," said Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn of the case.

"Preying on our seniors has no place in our society, and a state prison sentence was warranted."

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