An Ohio Good Samaritan is being hailed a ‘hero’ for chasing down a thief who snatched an 87-year-old woman’s purse from a shopping cart.
But Deshawn Pressley said being honored by the Butler County Sheriff’s Office wasn’t all he got from the good deed – he also made a friend in Pat Goins, who he helped during her time of trouble.
Goins was shopping at a Lemon Township Kroeger earlier this month when a man – identified by police as 58-year-old Derek Vaughn – absconded with her purse.
Hearing her cries for help, Pressley chased the culprit down and retrieved her belongings.
‘I’m glad that he received this honor because he’s my hero,’ Goins
Before the December 5 ordeal, Pressley and Goins had a friendly conversation with his one-year-old daughter at the grocery store.
They briefly parted ways, before Pressley heard Goins shriek, ‘My purse!’
‘I heard her screaming and yelling … it was the yell that I need help,’ Pressley said. ‘And I just turned around and did what I needed to do as a citizen.’
He chased after the purse snatcher, eventually making a citizen’s arrest before the bandit could reach his car.
As for Pressley and Goins, the award ceremony won’t be the last time they met; they’ve already made plans for a dinner date.
Pressley was in a different aisle when he heard Goins’ call for help. He and at least other 15 shoppers went after Vaughn, but Pressley outran them all.
Security footage shows Goins following Vaughn from the store and into the parking lot, preventing the thief from getting away.
Pressley said Vaughn was surprised to see fellow shoppers on his tail.
‘He was running and looking back, running and looking back, and I was like ‘yeah, I’m on you’re a–,’ Pressley said.
‘And he ran right past me and I chased him down,’ Pressley added. ‘He got to his car and everything, but I grabbed him, held him to the floor, got him down. Did what I had to do until the police arrived.’
Once Vaughn was nabbed, fellow shoppers ordered him to apologize.
‘They told him he better apologize to me. He said he was sorry, he said he was sorry,’
Vaughn hadn’t tried to attack her and he was only after the $60 inside her purse.
For his heroic efforts, Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones awarded Pressley with the Citizen’s Award last Thursday, with Goins in attendance.
‘You make us very very proud, not just here, but [everywhere] in the country,’ the sheriff said to applause.
‘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.’
He added: ‘When I was young I always shoveled snow for older women, without paying. Like I told them I didn’t even want the money, I just did it because I cared. I have a heart.’
Pressley and Goins said that they will remain in contact following the award ceremony.
‘This is not the only day we are going to see each other, we are going to remain in contact,’ Pressley said.
‘And we’ve got a dinner date,’ Goins added.
Pressley said he went after Vaughn because of the way he was raised by his grandmother, who instilled good values in him.
‘She did very good by me,’ he said. ‘It was good that she taught me what she taught me, and I’m thankful for her.’
Vaughn was arrested and charged with robbery and theft.
Jones said the charges ‘send a message’ and that he hopes Vaughn ‘is still in his jail’ but did not clarify whether he remained locked up.