She had just gotten out of her car in Houston, Texas, when the robbers struck, video shows.
The robbers had followed the woman from a nearby bank, where she had taken out $75,000 and put it in her purse on Friday, according to police. Then the woman arrived at a Valero gas station that she is believed to co-own, and got out of her car holding the purse around 10 a.m., KTRK reports.
But as the woman opens the car door, an SUV pulls up and a man springs out of the backseat as the SUV is still moving, surveillance video released by police shows. The man then begins sprinting at the woman, surprising her as she begins to open a door.
The man grabs the purse and tries to wrestle it away from the woman, but she won’t let go. The pair struggle into a trash can, knock it over and fall to the ground themselves, video shows.
That’s when the woman’s husband runs out of the door and heads straight for the robber, video shows. Meanwhile, the robber drags the purse — and the woman hanging onto it — across the pavement and in front of the woman’s car.
Her husband begins fighting the robber and the woman gets hold of the purse.
The car the robber had jumped out of quietly drives off, but then a black Chrysler 300 rolls up next to the woman’s vehicle, video shows. The driver of that car gets out and approaches the two victims and the robber, who are now frantically grappling with each other behind the woman’s vehicle.
The driver briefly joins the fight, goes back to his car, then rejoins the scuffle, video shows.
Despite the unfolding chaos, one aspect of the dramatic scene never changes: The woman won’t give up the bag, even as the robber begins to drag her across the pavement again, video shows.
Suddenly the driver backs up the car over the man and the woman, as the robber continues trying to tug the bag from the woman’s hands. Then the car drives off, video shows.
A deputy who witnessed the tail end of the melee chased after a suspect and arrested him, police said.
The suspected robber was identified as Davis Mitchell, 31. He’s being held at the Harris County Jail on charges of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon, according to Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman.
Authorities said Mitchell was part of a group. They are now seeking any tips or information on the other suspect shown in the video and other members of the group.
The woman was taken to the hospital and is in critical condition, police said. Her husband had minor injuries that were treated at the crime scene, KHOU reports.
Police said the robbers didn’t manage to get the purse and cash, and that the woman’s large cash withdrawal had been done for legitimate business reasons, KHOU reports.