Kroger shopper who stopped purse theft recounts incident

Deshawn Pressley helped get a woman's purse back after a suspect snatched in from her inside Kroger in Lemon Twp.

Credit: Submitted photo

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Deshawn Pressley helped get a woman's purse back after a suspect snatched in from her inside Kroger in Lemon Twp.

Credit: Submitted photo

Trenton resident Patricia Goins left church Sunday morning and stopped by her local Kroger. She never dreamed someone would try to snatch her purse and she’s grateful to those who took a stand to stop the alleged thief.

Shortly after 11 a.m., Butler County Sheriff’s deputies and Trenton police officers responded to Kroger in Lemon Twp. for a man who reportedly grabbed an elderly woman’s purse inside the store. They found a suspect being held down by a citizen in the parking lot of the Oxford State Road store.

“I had completed my shopping and I was on my way to the checkout, I happened to think there was one item I still needed. And I turned around and went back to that aisle,” the 87-year-old woman said. “I had just turned into that aisle when he grabbed my purse.”

Goins said it was like time froze, but she managed to let out a scream.

“I just screamed ‘he stole my purse.’ And I was loud,” she said.

An aisle away, Deshawn Pressley was shopping with his family. He heard the scream. His daughter’s mother saw a man run by with a purse. That’s when he started running, too.

“So, I turned around really fast and I got on his butt. I had to get him. I had to get that purse back,” Pressley said.

The 27-year-old Middletown man said the alleged thief was nearly inside a running vehicle when he was able to wrestle him to the ground.

Others came to Pressley’s aid as the struggle continued.

“Two other guys saw him fighting me. They said, ‘nah, wait a minute, we have to get this guy down’.” Pressley said. He said people formed a circle around him as he tried to keep the suspect down.

Lots of shoppers gathered in the parking lot — even the women, Goins remembered.

“I think I emptied out the store,” she said. “They were making a statement by their presence. I am very thankful.”

Goins identified Vaughn as the man who took her purse.

She said, “I had a few choice words for him that can’t be repeated.”

Pressley said as Vaughn was trying to break free, he kept saying he didn’t want to go back to jail.

“I was like, ‘I am sorry Sir, you picked the wrong day and the wrong store,” Pressley said.

Vaughn, was charged with robbery and theft, both felonies because of the victim’s age. He was booked into the Middletown City Jail and is scheduled to be arraigned in Middletown Municipal Court on Monday where bond as set at $55,000.

Vaughn is scheduled to be back in court Dec. 13 for a preliminary hearing.

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