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San Gabriel mayor suspected of taking woman's purse, driving off as she clings to his SUV

October 15, 2010 |  9:11 am

The booking photo of Albert Y.M. Huang, mayor of the city of San Gabriel. Credit: San Gabriel Police Department The mayor of the city of San Gabriel was in custody Friday on charges of felony robbery and assault after he allegedly took a woman’s purse and sped down a residential street with her clinging to the side of his sport-utility vehicle.

Mayor Albert Y.M. Huang was being held at the San Gabriel police station, said Lt. Ariel Duran of the San Gabriel Police Department.

Police said they received a call about 1:15 a.m. Friday about a heated argument between Huang and a woman. Investigators determined Huang was arguing over money with the woman outside a restaurant in the 300 block of West Valley Boulevard.

Huang allegedly took the woman’s purse, which contained her car keys, cash and personal belongings and got into her car, Duran said.

The woman attempted to prevent him from leaving by reaching through the vehicle’s window. Huang then allegedly pushed the woman, got out of her car and entered his own, a Nissan SUV.

The woman then reached through the passenger window of Huang’s SUV and stood on its running boards, Duran said.

Huang accelerated as fast as 45 mph down Prospect Avenue with the woman hanging on, Duran said.

“It’s a 25 mph speed limit zone, and he’s doing 45 with the female hanging on the car,” Duran said.

Huang drove more than a quarter mile with the woman on his car, Duran said.

A security guard at a local business saw what was going on and detained Huang and the woman until officers arrived.

Officers arrested Huang, 35, on suspicion of felony robbery, suspicion of assault by means likely to produce great injury, also a felony, and battery.

Duran said there was no indication Huang was intoxicated at the time of the incident, and he has not been charged with DUI. His bail was set at $100,000.

The woman was not seriously injured, Duran said, and her belongings were recovered. She is 33 years old. Her name has not been released, and Duran said it was unclear what her relationship was to Huang.

-- Sam Allen

Photo: Albert Y.M. Huang, mayor of the city of San Gabriel. Credit: San Gabriel Police Department