‘You took and made what we call a citizen’s arrest, and you make us very, very proud,’ Sheriff Richard Jones tells Deshawn Pressley
A man in Ohio has won an award for good citizenship after tackling a thief who ran off with an elderly woman’s purse.
On 5 December, Deshawn Pressley was shopping at a Kroger supermarket in Lemon Township when he heard Pat Goins, 87, yelling for help. A man had just snatched her purse from her shopping cart, and was now running out of the store. Mr Pressley ran after him.
“I chased him down,” Mr Pressley later told WXIX. “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.”
Eleven days later, the Butler County Sheriff’s Office honored Mr Pressley with a Citizen’s Award.
“You took and made what we call a citizen’s arrest, and you make us very, very proud,” Sheriff Richard Jones told Mr Pressley at the award ceremony. “Thank you for what you’ve done.”
Ms Goins was also at the ceremony, and smiled with Mr Pressley as they posed for pictures.
“I’m glad that he received this honor, because he’s my hero,” she told WXIX.
She and Mr Pressley said they were now friends, and would be seeing each other again.
“Tell them, Ms P,” Mr Pressley said. “It’s not the only day we’re going to see each other. We’re going to remain in contact with each other.”
“And we’ve got a dinner date!” Ms Goins said excitedly.
Police later identified the suspect as Derek Vauhn, 58. He was arrested and charged with robbery and theft.
Surveillance video captured the shocking moment Mr Pressley caught up to him. As Mr Vaughn ran into the Kroger parking lot, Mr Pressley followed close behind, and finally grabbed the man by the back of his jacket, pushing him to the ground. The suspect made a few attempts to get up and flee, but Mr Pressley repeatedly subdued him.
In the end, Mr Pressley managed to keep the man pinned until police arrived. In the meantime, a crowd of Ohio shoppers got Mr Vaughn to apologize.
“They told him he better apologise to me,” Ms Goins later recalled. “He said he was sorry.”