Man who chased down alleged purse snatcher honored by Butler Co. Sheriff, victim

Prior to the morning of Dec. 5, Trenton resident Patricia Goins and Middletown resident Deshawn Pressley would have had to be considered an Odd Couple.

She’s an 87-year-old great-grandmother and he’s a 27-year-old father of a 1-year-old.

But now, following the events that Sunday morning at a local Kroger, the two have become the best of friends.

“Inseparable,” Goins said.

“This isn’t the last time we will see each other,” Pressley said.

On Thursday afternoon, Pressley was honored by Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones for making a “citizen’s arrest” when he chased down a man who allegedly stole Goins’ purse that was strapped to her shopping cart at Kroger on Oxford State Road.

“He’s my hero,” Goins said of Pressley.

Pressley said he wanted to take Goins out for lunch and he was paying.

“We’ll see about that,” she said.

The suspect, Derek A. Vaughn, 58, was charged with robbery, a third-degree felony and theft, a fifth-degree felony, because of the victim’s age.

Middletown Municipal Court Judge James Sherron bound the case over to a Butler County grand jury. Vaughn is housed in the Butler County Jail in lieu of $55,000 bond.

Goins said when Vaughn grabbed her purse that was covered with groceries her shopping cart fell over. Then she screamed, “He stole my purse.”

An aisle away, Pressley was shopping with his family.

“It was a loud scream,” he said. “I turned around really fast and I got on his butt. I had to get him. I had to get that purse back.”

He wrestled Vaughn to the ground in the parking lot and wait with other shoppers who ran out of the store until Butler County Sheriff Deputies and Trenton police arrived.

Pressley said his mother died when he was young so he was raised by his grandmother. She taught him to respect his elders, especially women.

“She did very good by me,” he said.

Jones praised Pressley for detaining the suspect.

“He jumped right in and took action,” Jones said. “You make us very, very proud. This had a good ending.”

Butler County Sheriff Deputy James Davenport, who responded to the purse snatching call, also attended Thursday’s ceremony. When he walked in, he gave Goins a hug. His grandmother recently died, he said.

So after interviewing Goins, he followed her home and carried in her groceries.

About the Authors