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 in Kroger Lemon Township on December 5, when a man stole her purse. He had it strapped to her shopping basket.

Surveillance footage showing Deshawn Pressley chasing down the thief in a Kroger parking lot

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.”

Pressley and Goins had a pleasant conversation before the ordeal. They briefly parted ways before Pressley heard the woman’s frantic call, “My purse!”

Surveillance footage of Deshawn Pressley tackling a thief in a Kroger parking lot

Pressley beat at least 15 other shoppers to the snatcher. 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 for robbery as well as theft, and was held on a $55,000 cash bail.

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

When the thief was caught by fellow shoppers, he was ordered to apologize to Goins.

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

Deshawn Pressley and Pat Goins hugging each other

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

Pressley left the scene with minor scratches on his arms but 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 the snow for elderly women for free. He told them he didn’t want the money; he just did it because he cared.

Deshawn Pressley and Pat Goins with Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones

Pressley stated that he ran for the suspect because his grandmother raised him. His mother died young so his grandmother took care. Pressley stated that she was the one who taught Pressley 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.”

Deshawn Pressley and Pat Goins with a man and woman in the Butler County Sheriff's Office

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

Davenport was also present at the Pressley ceremony. His grandmother passed away shortly after Thanksgiving. When he came in, he gave Goins an embrace.

After interviewing grandma, he drove the grandma home to ensure her safety and brought 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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