A Florida man stole an elderly woman’s purse and nearly ran her over in a McDonald’s parking lot after she tried to chase him, according to police.
The incident, which occurred over the weekend, was caught on surveillance footage at an Okeechobee McDonald’s. The violent encounter started as the woman was enjoying dinner with a friend inside the fast-food restaurant. Soon after, a man walked up and snatched her Coach purse.
He took off, and the woman immediately jumped up and ran after him, following him outside to the parking lot, where he hopped into his vehicle. The woman didn’t give up and was able to open the car door. But the thief backed up the vehicle, dragging her along the asphalt.
The elderly woman was sprawled out on the ground and barely moving as concerned witnesses rushed to her aid.
While no one blames her for what happened, the online reaction to her giving chase is mixed.
One person commented, "I admire her feistiness," while another posted, "She should not have endangered her life for a purse."
So what is the right thing to do if this ever happens to you? Inside Edition spoke to safety expert Leah Schwartz.
"In this video, she couldn’t see it coming and you can’t prevent what you can’t see. The best thing to do is keep yourself safe," she said.
She says that if someone comes up and grabs your bag, use your voice to try and scare the person away, but if they are successful, do not chase after them.
“It is better to keep yourself safe than engage in a fight with someone who you don’t know what they are capable of," Schwartz explained.
Fortunately, it didn't take long for cops to identify and arrest suspect Charles Stratton Jr., who faces multiple charges.
The woman was taken to a local hospital, where she was treated for injuries.