When Deshawn Pressley took his one-year-old daughter to the store, he expected to get some groceries. Instead, he got the Citizen’s Award.
Coming to the rescue
On Dec. 16, Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones presented Pressley with an award commemorating his selfless act. Earlier in the month, Pressley chased down a thief who snatched a purse from an elderly woman in the Kroger grocery store checkout line.
Eighty seven-year-old Pat Goins was nearly done with her shopping when a man attempted to steal her purse. She had spoken to Pressley briefly in line before funnelling into a separate checkout line where the thief made his move.
I heard her screaming and yelling … it was the yell that I need help and I just turned around and did what I needed to do as a citizen.
Catching the thief
Pressley followed the purse-snatcher out of the store in Lemon Township, Ohio, and into the parking lot where security footage shows Pressley tackling the suspect, later identified as 58-year-old Derek Vauhn.
I chased him down. He got to his car and everything, but I grabbed him, held him to the floor, got him down. Did what I had to do until the police arrived.
Deshawn Pressley to Fox19
At the award ceremony, Pressley answered reporters’s questions about the event and was reunited with Goins, the woman he helped.
“I’m glad that he received this honor because he’s my hero,” Goins told FOX19 Cincinnati.
Reporters asked Pressley if the thief had been surprised to be chased down, and Pressley answered that he was.
“He was running and looking back, running and looking back, and I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m on your a–,” Pressley said.
Pressley attributes his altruism to his grandmother, who raised him after his mother passed away.
“She did very good by me,” he said of his grandmother. “It was good that she taught me what she taught me, and I’m thankful for her.”
As for Pressley and Goins, their friendship doesn’t end there. They intend to remain in contact, and the two have already planned their next meet-up.
“We’ve got a dinner date!” Goins said.
Courage and compassion
Instead of ignoring a call for help, Pressley answered it. His courage and selflessness brought a purse back to its owner and a thief to justice. Just as Pressley’s grandmother taught him, Pressley teaches us what bravery and compassion can accomplish: justice, respect, and a new friendship.
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