Good Samaritans catch alleged purse snatcher - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Good Samaritans catch alleged purse snatcher

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Alleged purse snatcher on ground as Good Samaritans hold him down Alleged purse snatcher on ground as Good Samaritans hold him down
21-year-old William Shuford 21-year-old William Shuford
71-year-old Mearcilia Therazin 71-year-old Mearcilia Therazin

MIAMI (WSVN) -- A group of Good Samaritans jumped into action after, they said, a man snatched a purse out of a woman's grasp, Sunday.

Seventy-one-year-old Mearcilia Therazin said she was on her way to church when a man walking behind her pushed her to the ground, grabbed her purse and took the money and Bible that were inside.

Good Samaritan Fernando Lopez and his family were on their way home when they saw Therazin in a panic. "We saw the lady screaming and then we saw the guy running with a purse," said Lopez's wife, Fabiola Lopez.

"So, I'm running behind the guy and I follow the guy for, like, two or three blocks," said Fernando Lopez. "I catch the guy behind this car."

Lopez, along with other Good Samaritans, held the guy near Northeast Second Avenue and 82nd Street until he was in police custody. As they held the man pinned to the ground, the man can be heard saying, "I don't have all her stuff! I threw it in the backyard."

The suspect, who appeared in bond court Monday morning, was identified as 21-year-old William Shuford. He has been charged with strong armed robbery. Shuford was also charged with battery on a person older than 65. However, the judge waived that charge because there was not enough probable cause, according to the judge.

A good deed like this one can be dangerous, but for this group it was the right thing to do. "Sometimes you don't think anything, you just do it. That's all," said Fernando Lopez. "If I let the guy go, probably the cops never catch the guy."

Fin Gomez, who captured the good deed on video, said, "It's really great to see these Good Samaritans coming out of nowhere, people who are complete strangers coming together to help do some good."

The victim said she is very thankful for everyone who stepped in to help. The woman was able to get her purse back and only suffered minor scratches.


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