LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A 24-year-old southern Indiana man is charged with the strong-arm robbery of an 80-year-old woman at a shopping mall parking lot.
According to an arrest report, Louisville Metro Police were called to Jefferson Mall on Outer Loop around 12:45 p.m. on June 4 after the woman had been assaulted and robbed in the parking lot.
The suspect fled toward the Firestone Auto Care Center across Outer Loop at Judge Blvd. People in the area told officers that a man fitting the description of the robbery suspect - a white man with a goatee and dark glasses wearing a dark ball cap, dark shirt with pinstripes, dark shorts - heading south on Judge Blvd.
"I saw her tugging back and forth with the man and the strap broke and then she eventually fell to the ground and hit her head and that's when he took off running," said witness-turned-hero LaToya Hatcher.
That's what Hatcher saw during her lunch break in the parking lot of Jefferson Mall.
While Hatcher ran to help the 80-year-old woman, her fiance, Anthony Clark, went running after the man.
"To see this elderly woman laying on the ground like that in pain, instincts kicked in and all I could think was that's someone's grandmother; it could have been my grandmother laying there and that's when the shocked turned to anger," Clark said.
Clark ran after the man, who eventually threw the purse back at Clark and kept running.
As officers rushed to the scene, they caught up with 24-year-old Matthew Daniels and arrested him on 1st degree robbery charges.
Fortunately, he wasn't armed during the pursuit, which Clark says his faith helped him with during the chase.
"I know that God protects me. God was my protection so I didn't really focus on that because in my mind all I was wanting to do was to make sure she got her belongings back and to make sure she was safe," Clark said.
Hatcher stayed with the woman she describes as, "really nice and sweet. An innocent and loving woman."
Hatcher talked to her while waiting for paramedics to arrive.
"I was trying to get her to calm down; she was in shock. She couldn't really talk on the phone to her husband and they bandaged her up," Hatcher said.
Despite being rattled and requiring a few stitches, the victim has been released from the hospital.
"She said in all her 80 years she's never seen anything like that and couldn't even imagine it happening to her," Hatcher said.
Metro officers found Daniels, of Clarksville, Indiana, in the 5000 block of Famous Way about 10 minutes after the robbery.
Daniels was booked into Louisville Metro Corrections on a charge of robbery, first degree.
According to the Indiana Department of Corrections website, Daniels was released from prison last month, after serving time for a 2006 conviction of sexual misconduct with a minor.
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