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Marine chases down alleged purse snatcher, doesn’t realize victim was his mother

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POPULAR BLUFF, Mo. (KFVS) – A Marine says it was just instinct when he heard a woman screaming to go to her aid.

“It was someone in need of help,” said Don Miller. “I would have [done it for anyone.] I wouldn’t have thought twice.”

Miller says he was at Wal-Mart with his mother and girlfriend when they became separated.

Miller’s mother, Donna Smith,  told KFVS she was alone when a man grabbed her purse.

“All I could think of was to fight and I fought him with everything I had,” Smith said.

However, the thief was able to get the purse and run, but not before Miller realized what was happening.

“I realized that some guy was trying to rip a purse off a lady,” Miller said.

He took off into the parking lot after the alleged thief, while his girlfriend called police.

“I confronted him, told him to get down and chased him down a little bit,” he said.

When officers arrived, they say Miller had the alleged suspect pinned to the ground.

“I just wanted the bad guy to pay for what he did,” he said.

When he heard a woman screaming, Miller says he had no idea it was his mother.

“This is our community. We have to look after each other, whether it’s family, friends or just an innocent person in need of help,” Miller said.

Tyler Maxfield is now facing charges for the crime.