Teens tackle purse snatcher - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Teens tackle purse snatcher

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By Theresa Schmidt

Two teenagers are being hailed as heroes after chasing down a purse snatcher and stopping him in his tracks.   The youth say they're glad they were in the right place to help a woman under attack.

It was late Friday afternoon.  Teens Malcom Patterson and Junior Schlesinger who happen to play football for Washington Marion are in the Walmart parking lot off Highway 14. Explains Junior. "I heard a lady screaming, 'Help! Help!' and a guy was wrestling her and he pushed her to the ground."

Malcom says, "The lady was screaming for help because this guy was trying to steal her purse from her." When they realized the woman is the victim of a purse snatcher they sprang into action. Junior says, "And he took off running so I took off running after him."  Malcom adds, "We ran over to try to help. He grabbed her purse, he tried to run."

They both say they hit the suspect.  Junior: "I punched him and a whole bunch of people, my partner, he punched him too."  Malcom: "My friend hit him, then I hit him. And then a lot of other civilians came and jumped on him to help."

 Fortyfive year old Isaac Gary was arrested and booked into the Calcasieu Jail for attempted purse snatching, simple criminal damage to property and simple battery. Patterson fractured his wrist and Schlesinger's finger was dislocated.

Their mothers are understandably proud.  Carla Mormon is Malcom's mom. "I wasn't sure how serious it was, but once I found out everyone was safe I was real excited and proud and letting everybody know we have a hero in the family." Junior's mom, Sharon Garrick, agrees."I am just very grateful and happy that Junior and Malcom reacted the way they did because it could've been me out there and I would hope that someone would've done the same thing they did."

The young heroes say they are glad to have helped the woman and hope people realize there are plenty of good kids in the community. Junior says, "Just because you're a kid doesn't mean you can't handle the responsibility of an adult. It should change the minds of grown folks, how they think about us young kids."

 Malcom thinks of it this way, "It couldn't been my grandmother or my mother. It could've been anybody out there and I would want somebody to do the same for them."

 Gary came away from the incident with a black eye. At last word he was still in jail with bond set at $15,000. The woman who was the victim of the attempted purse snatching suffered a bruised arm in the attack. She was treated and released from the hospital.  Sheriff's deputies say Gary has at least four prior arrests for purse snatching in Lafayette and Crowley.

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