BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Good Samaritans came to the rescue of an elderly woman who was injured during a purse snatching in the parking lot of a grocery store. Although also attacked, the women managed to hold the suspect down until police arrived.
It happened on Saturday at 6:15 p.m. at LeBlanc's Grocery store located on Drusilla Lane. According to the probable cause report, the victim was walking to her car when she was approached by the suspect, Paul Hills, 49.
"As he approached her, he grabbed the victim's purse, which was strapped to her arm, and forcefully pulled it from her possession, causing lacerations to her face," the arresting officer with the Baton Rouge Police Department noted in the report. "The [suspect] then fled on foot."
At least two women saw what was happened and chased the man, the officer wrote.
"Once the witnesses caught up with [Hills] and tried to detain him, he punched several of the female good Samaritans in the face, causing lacerations to both."
But the woman did manage to hold the man captive until police arrived.
When questioned, Hills allegedly confessed to the crime. He reportedly told police that he tried to take the purse because he was, "high on cocaine and needed money to buy more drugs."
Hills was arrested and charged with purse snatching and two counts of simple battery. He was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison. He is being held in lieu of a $175,000 bond.
According to court documents, Hills pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery, purse snatching, and forgery in 1993. He was sentenced to serve 40 years for the robbery charge, 20 years for the purse snatching charge, and 2 years for the forgery charge. All time was to be served concurrently. After filing and being denied several motions for a reduced sentence, he was released in 2014.