‘He’s my hero’ – Ohio man honored for chasing down thief who stole elderly woman’s purse

Francis Akhalbey December 22, 2021
Deshawn Pressley chased down a thief who stole an elderly woman's purse -- Left Photo via Butler County Sheriff’s Office

The Butler County Sheriff’s Office in Ohio presented a man with a Citizen’s Award after he bravely chased down a thief who was trying to flee after stealing an 87-year-old woman’s purse.

According to WXIX, the footage of Deshawn Pressley chasing and eventually tackling down the thief has gone viral after it was shared on social media. The December 5 incident occurred while Pat Goins was inside a Kroger store in Lemon Township. The octogenarian said the thief, identified as 58-year-old Derek Vauhn, came towards her and grabbed her purse from her cart before running to the parking lot.

Goins said that though several people chased Vauhn, it was Pressley who ultimately caught up with him. Surveillance footage of the parking lot chase showed Pressley grabbing Vauhn’s jacket and tackling him to the ground after catching up with him. The confrontation got physical at a certain point, but Pressley ultimately subdued him until the police arrived and arrested him. Pressley said he chased Vauhn after he heard Goins screaming her purse had been stolen.

“I chased him down,” Pressley recalled. “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.”

Vauhn was also made to apologize to Goins. “They [the crowd] told him he better apologize to me. He said he was sorry, he said he was sorry,” Goins said.

Goins, who reunited with Pressley at the December 16 ceremony, said he deserved the award. “I’m glad that he received this honor,” Goins said, “because he’s my hero.”

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones also commended Pressley for his heroics. “You took and made what we call a citizen’s arrest, and you make us very, very proud,” Jones told Pressley at the ceremony, Independent reported. “Thank you for what you’ve done.”

Goins and Pressley said they’ve now established a friendship, and they’ll be hanging out in the future. “Tell them, Ms P,” 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!” a delighted Goins revealed.

Vauhn was charged with robbery and theft.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: December 22, 2021


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