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Good Samaritan Stops Alleged Purse Snatching

Reported by: Send eMail Katy Brown
Web Producer: Heath Harrison
Reported: Nov. 29, 2013 9:04 PM EST
Updated: Nov. 29, 2013 10:31 PM EST

EYEWITNESS NEWS ONLINE WEBCAST VIDEO

Alleged Purse Snatching
Eyewitness News Photo

Cross Lanes , Kanawha County , West Virginia

A man was arrested in Kanawha County Thursday after police said he stole a woman's purse.

One of the men who stopped the suspect and held him until police showed up spoke with Eyewitness News.

It was certainly not the Thanksgiving some people thought they'd have, with one woman's purse allegedly stolen and on man arrested.

Another man, Christopher Lawrence, helped police in stopping the accused purse snatcher.

Lawrence said he hopes his actions share a message not only with his son who was with him yesterday, but with the community as well.

There's only one word Lawrence uses to describe Richard Palmer, the accused Thanksgiving purse snatcher.

"A scumbag,” he said. “I mean, on Thanksgiving? Come on."

The incident happened around 2 p.m. Thursday afternoon at the Kroger on Big Tyler Road in Cross Lanes.

Deputies said Palmer stole a woman's purse right out of her cart as she was walking through the parking lot.

“I was unloading groceries with my son over here at Kroger, and then, behind me, I heard this lady scream for help,” Lawrence said. “I turned around and this punk was taking off through the parking lot."

Police said Palmer took off from Kroger, went across the street near Fruth Pharmacy, then back across the road to Tim Horton’s, which is where Palmer met Lawrence and another man.

The two then tackled Palmer to the ground.

"We just held him there until the cops came,” Lawrence said. “It's just the right thing to do. I think most people would have done the same."

Both Lawrence and the second man who helped police Thursday are veterans.

Lawrence is active in the U.S. Army reserves and credits his response to his training.
He thinks shows a good message to the public.

"If you pitch together and not just let things happen, it could be a safer place and a better place to live," he said.

Lawrence said it's also a good message for his 13-year-old son.

"This is exactly what will happen to you if you ever start using drugs," he said.

Lawrence said the woman thanked everyone for their actions.

Palmer was arrested and was taken to the South Central Regional Jail on a $10,000 bond.



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