EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSVictims Involved In Attempted Purse Snatching Speak Out
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Darrah Wilcox
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Also Contributing: Tiersa Davis
Reported: Aug. 23, 2013 9:26 AM EDT
Updated: Aug. 23, 2013 10:50 PM EDT
Huntington , Cabell County , West Virginia
Kathy Pumphrey and her sister Bonnie Stephenson were loading groceries into their car in the Walmart parking lot on U.S. Route 60 Tuesday afternoon, when their day got turned upside down.
"The guy comes, then he hesitates, then he says 'thank you,' and then grabs my purse and takes off," Stephenson said.
Cabell County Sheriff's deputies said Ronall Ross snatched Stephenson's purse out of the buggy, and she took off after him.
"I went and jumped in his van and started hitting him," Stephenson said.
Her sister jumped in to help.
"He (Ross) put it in reverse, backed up, I went flying off and he almost ran over me," Pumphrey said.
"He just missed her," Stephenson said.
Stephenson said she covered up Ross' eyes so he could not see to drive forward.
"Finally he said, 'Just get out. I'll give you your purse. Just get out' and he threw the purse out," she said.
Ross drove away, leaving the pair banged up, and shaken up. They have scraped up knees, shoulders, arms, backs, and Stephenson's face is very bruised.
"For 48 hours, I couldn't even open my eye," she said.
They were both treated and released from the hospital after the incident.
It's made them understandably skittish.
"It made us feel, you know, paranoid if someone would get close to us," Stephenson said.
They said they are proud that they fought back.
"It's instinct," Stephenson said.
"You're not going to let somebody get by with stealing your purse," her sister added.
So is there anything they would have done differently?
"Probably not," Stephenson said.
"Well, I wish I would have hung on better, so I could have really beat the crap out of that man," Pumphrey said.
Ross was being held at the Western Regional Jail on several charges, with bail set at $55,000.
A Huntington man is facing several charges after deputies said he was involved in an attempted purse snatching that left two victims injured.
Ronall D. Ross, 43, of Huntington was charged Wednesday with two counts of malicious wounding, robbery and two counts of leaving the scene of an accident causing injury or death.
The Cabell County Sheriff's Department responded to the parking lot of a store on Route 60 in Huntington on Tuesday after a report of a purse snatching. Deputies said two women were loading groceries into their minivan when the suspect grabbed a purse from their shopping cart, according to acriminal complaint filed at Cabell Magistrate Court.
Deputies said the women chased him and one jumped on the driver's side door to get the purse. They said the suspect reversed the vehicle, dragging the two women for 25 feet when one woman was knocked off. The suspect then put the van in drive and drug the other victim about 200 feet when she was knocked to the ground, deputies said. Both women were taken to Cabell Huntington Hospital for their injuries.
Ross was being held at the Western Regional Jail with bail set at $55,000.
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