Authorities in Florida say a man is in custody after allegedly stealing an elderly woman’s purse and then running her over in his car as she attempted to get it back.
According to WHAM, the 76-year-old alleged victim, Janice Allen, was eating at a McDonald’s location in Okeechobee when a man approached and snatched her purse.
Reports indicate the woman followed the man out into the parking lot. Instead of getting her pocketbook back, however, police say she was hit by the getaway car being driven by Charles Alton Stratton Jr.
McDonald’s acknowledged the incident in a statement confirming it would be cooperating with police.
“We are saddened by the violence that occurred at our restaurant in Okeechobee, FL,” the company wrote. “Our top priority is always the safety and well-being of our employees and customers at our restaurants.”
The suspect was arrested after he surrendered to authorities a short time after the incident. Local law enforcement reports that Stratton confessed to the crime, which he said was an effort to get money to support his crack-cocaine habit.
Local reports indicate Allen is being hailed as a local hero and has responded to the violent attack by asking the community to pray for the suspect, saying he needs more help than she does.
Police say the suspect’s wife was in the car that hit and dragged Allen. As of the latest updates available, no charges had been filed against the passenger.
Here’s the video of the 76 y/o woman enjoying dinner with a friend when a man comes up behind her, steals her purse and takes off. But she wasn’t having it, she takes off right after him. Today people in the community are talking about how brave she is. @CBS12 pic.twitter.com/uQJOqw3gEr
— Erin MacPherson (@ErinCBS12) December 10, 2018
[Featured image: Charles Alton Stratton Jr., Okeechobee Sheriff’s Office]