Man accused of hitting 78-year-old woman, stealing purse at Gig Harbor Library

A man accused of stealing purses at the Gig Harbor Library from two women in their 70s and hitting one of them in the head pleaded not guilty Thursday.

Adam Bassett, 29, is charged with first-degree robbery and first-degree theft. Court records did not identify his attorney. Court Commissioner Meagan M. Foley set his bail at $200,000.

According to charging papers:

Bassett stole a 78-year-old woman’s purse and knocked her to the ground Wednesday outside the library in the 4400 block of Point Fosdick Drive.

Medical crews took her to the hospital, where she was treated for injuries to her head and arm.

She told investigators she heard footsteps behind her and was hit on the head before someone grabbed her purse as she fell. Her husband had been waiting for her in their vehicle at the time.

A witness snapped a photo of the van the purse thief left in. That led police to Bassett, who is the registered owner. He admitted taking the purse but denied hitting the woman.

When questioned about a second theft he admitted to snatching a 76-year-old woman’s purse Aug. 23 outside the library.