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Man hailed as a hero for running after a thief who stole an elderly woman’s purse at a grocery store

An Ohio man is being recognized by his community for chasing down a thief who snatched an 87-year-old woman’s purse while she shopped at a grocery store.

The Butler County Sheriff’s Office presented Deshawn Pressley, 27, with a Citizen’s Award for running after the perpetrator and ensuring that the purse was returned to its owner.

Pat Goins was shopping at Kroger in Lemon Township on December 5 when a man stole her purse strapped to her shopping cart.

Pressley, who was shopping with his one-year-old daughter in a different aisle, heard Goins’ cries for help and immediately jumped into action.

“I heard her screaming and yelling … it was the yell that I need help,” Pressley recalled. “And I just turned around and did what I needed to do as a citizen.”

Before the ordeal, Pressley shared a friendly conversation with Goins. They briefly parted ways before Pressley heard the woman’s frantic call, “My purse!”

At least 15 other shoppers went after the snatcher, but Pressley outran them all. The man chased him from the store to the parking lot and wrestled him to the floor, making a citizen’s arrest before he could reach a running car.

Pressley prevented the thief from getting away, and the Butler County Sheriff Deputies and Trenton police were able to capture the suspect who stole the woman’s purse. He was charged with robbery and theft with a $55,000 cash bond.

“He was running and looking back, running and looking back, and I was like ‘yeah, I’m on you’re a–,” said Pressley.

Once the thief was caught, fellow shoppers ordered him to apologize to Goins.

“They told him he better apologize to me. He said he was sorry, he said he was sorry,” she said.

The thief hadn’t tried to attack her and was only interested in the $60 inside her purse.

Pressley walked away from the scene with some minor scratches on his arms, but he said it was worth it.

The award ceremony won’t be the last time the pair would get together as they’ve already planned a dinner date. Goins is excited to meet Pressley’s daughter and become part of her life as well.

“I’m glad that I helped her because she is a wonderful, lovely lady and I just love helping people, especially older women,” Pressley said. “They need love, they need security just like every other woman, no matter the age.”

Pressley isn’t new to doing good deeds for elderly people. When he was young, he would shovel snow for older women for free. He told them he didn’t want the money; he just did it because he cared.

Pressley said he ran after the suspect because of how his grandmother had raised him. His mom died when he was young, so his grandmother took care of him. Pressley said she was the one who taught him good values.

“She did very good by me,” the Good Samaritan said.

Butler County Sheriff Deputy James Davenport, the officer who responded to the purse snatching call, said Pressley was incredibly brave, since he didn’t know if the thief had a weapon on him.

“He’s a hero there, especially this time, the time we’re living in here,” Davenport said. “He’s a hero there to get involved like he did.”

“I’m glad that he received this honor because he’s my hero,” Goins said about Pressley’s Citizen’s Award.

Davenport was also in attendance during the ceremony for Pressley. His grandmother died shortly after Thanksgiving, and when he walked in, he gave Goins a hug.

After interviewing the grandma, he drove her home to ensure she was safe and carried in her groceries.

“This kind of hit home. I was glad that we were able to get him off the streets,” he said. “So it was my duty to actually make sure she got home safely.”

You can learn more about Pressley’s heroic deed in the video below.

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Thursday 6th of January 2022

Loved this story. What a wonderful young man.

Toni Mcmunn

Thursday 6th of January 2022

We need more hero in this day and times, God bless this man for helping someone that could not help to get her purse back.

Tuesday 4th of January 2022

Now that is a real hero!

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