Truth, Inspiration, Hope.

Good Samaritan Gives Chase to Man who Snatches 87-Yr-Old Lady’s Purse: ‘He’s my hero’

Published: February 3, 2022
(Image: Butler County Sheriff's Office via Facebook)
(Image: Butler County Sheriff's Office via Facebook)

Imagine you’re in a shopping mall and there’s been a theft. And the thief is running away with the stolen goods in your direction. The instant reflex in such circumstances might be to mind your own business and stay safe. But if you were in such a situation, what would you have done?

Would you do what Peter in Sam Raimi’s spider man did; allowing the thief to run past you. Or would you have stopped that perpetrator? Nobody would blame you if you did nothing, for all you know the thief could be so bad that he wouldn’t think twice about hurting you in his desperate attempt to flee the scene.  

Going out of the way to help someone during a theft is an act of bravado, but it has become a rare sight nowadays to see someone plucking the courage to go after the offender. But some folks in Lemon Township were fortunate enough to have had a front-row seat to witness such a heroic act from an Ohio man, who single-handedly stopped a theft that happened at a Kroger supermarket on December 5, 2021. 

What started as a typical Sunday grocery store run for Deshawn Pressley, 27, and Pat Goins, 87, quickly turned into a nightmare experience. 

Pressley, accompanied by his 1-year-old daughter, was having a casual chat with his elderly neighbor Goins in the supermarket. They briefly parted ways before the beautiful day quickly became nothing of the sort. Pressley, who was in the adjacent aisle, suddenly heard Goin’s cry for help, “He stole my purse!”

A male suspect, later identified as 58-year-old Derek Vaughn, snatched Goin’s purse from her shopping cart, and absconded with it, leaving Goin and other bystanders completely shocked. Pressley had never experienced such an incident in his life before but that didn’t stop him from fulfilling his duty as a citizen. 

“Hearing her voice screaming and her being scared, I just knew I had to do something,” said Deshawn Pressley.

While the rest of the bystanders froze, Pressley reacted instantaneously, by racing after the purse snatcher out of the store and into the parking lot. His superior pace helped him to apprehend Vaughn before he pinned the thief to the ground. Despite that, the thief still put up a fight to get up, and as the struggle increasingly got intoxicated by anything-can-happen vibes, Pressley, determined in his efforts, was able to subdue Vaughn.

And thankfully, Pressley didn’t have to do it alone any longer as seconds later, other shoppers ran out to help him, with one of them grabbing Goin’s purse away from the thief. While waiting for the police to arrive on the scene, they even got Vaughn to feel remorse for the sin he had just committed.

“They told him he better apologize to me. He said he was sorry.” Goins told FOX11. 

Whether his apology was genuine or forced, the citizens of Ohio were relieved knowing Vaughn was arrested and charged with robbery and theft.

As for Pressley, he was a ‘Hero’ to Goin and the whole township. The local sheriff Richard Jones thought so too. On December 15, the Butler County Sheriff’s Office recognized Pressley’s valiant act in stopping the suspect and presented him with a Citizen’s Award which Pressley accepted alongside Goins. 

“I’m glad that he received this honor because he’s my hero,” Goins told WXIX.

(Image: Butler County Sheriff’s Office)
(Image: Butler County Sheriff’s Office)

A humble Pressley then revealed that after his mother’s passing when he was young, he was raised by his grandmother, who taught him to ‘help elderly people in need.’

“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,” Pressley told the media during the award ceremony.

This incident has brought both Pressley and Goins a whole lot closer and they promised to remain in contact with each other, with Goins even joking that they have a ‘dinner date’ planned.

In a time where selfless acts are few and far between, Pressley breathed new life into this upright path with his bravery. Over the years, people have been tricked into thinking that such a heroic act is a ‘choice’ but that could not be farther from the truth. Helping out others in need is actually a responsibility that each and every person should uphold. 

With the world seemingly teetering on the edge of chaos, one can hardly be blamed for focusing on their own troubles. But Deshawn Pressley refuses to be such a person. He is a gem of a soul that chooses to take responsibility in a world where society needs to look after each other, no matter the situation. 

His grandmother must be really proud of the boy she raised.