Woman, 91, wins battle in purse snatching
Mary Kennedy had plans to watch the Miami Dolphins game but the 91-year-old fan found herself trying to tackle a purse snatching suspect instead.
Gilberto Garcia, 35, of West Palm Beach, had approached her about 9 a.m. Sunday as she got into her car outside the Walmart at 4375 Belvedere Road and he told her there was a nail in her tire, the Palm Beach County Sheriff ’s Office said.
When Kennedy got out to look, Garcia grabbed her purse from the front seat of her car and got into his red Ford Explorer, an arrest report said.
Kennedy told WPTV-Ch.5 she went over and tried to get her purse back but Garcia pushed her to the parking lot pavement injuring her head, left arm and hip.
“He body-slammed me down to the concrete,” she told the station. “That was it. That was all I knew. I couldn’t get up.”
Garcia drove away, but two witnesses took pictures of his license plate and Walmart security cameras also recorded the incident.
Detectives checked license plate records and they showed Garcia was the registered owner of the Explorer. Meanwhile, a deputy spotted the SUV about 10:30 a.m. and followed it until Garcia parked at 2000 N. Congress Ave.
Garcia was held until Kennedy was brought to the scene so she could identify him as her attacker, the report stated.
Then, reluctantly, she was taken to the hospital for treatment of her injuries.
“I wanted to see the Dolphins game,” she told WPTV. “I waited all week for that.”
During questioning, Garcia admitted to taking Kennedy’s purse, stealing the contents, and throwing the purse in the trash at a Chevron gas station where deputies later found it. They processed it for evidence and returned it to Kennedy, detectives said.
Garcia is facing robbery, burglary and aggravated battery charges with bond set at $110,000, records showed.