Violent purse snatcher drags woman across pavement

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SHAWNEE, Okla. — Shawnee police say they’ve captured a man responsible for dragging a woman across a parking lot while trying to steal her purse. Through surveillance video, they were able to identify and capture 23-year-old Devin Carroll of Choctaw on Tuesday.

He was arraigned Wednesday on a first-degree robbery complaint.

The victim, 59-year-old Cynthia Rahn, was visiting from Texas.

Surveillance video shows Rahn leaving the Shawnee Walmart store on Jan. 26 with groceries.

Police say Carroll can be seen walking right behind her out of the store and attacking her in the middle of the afternoon.

“I would have to say pretty desperate,” Det. Charles Swantek said of the crime. “Or just not realize that, luckily in this day and age, there’s surveillance everywhere.”

Police say Carroll can be seen violently grabbing Rahn’s purse and yanking her to the ground.

Rahn did not let go.

“She told the suspect, ‘You’re not going to get it,’ referring to her purse,” Swantek said.

Seconds later, Rahn is then seen being dragged a few feet in the parking lot until the purse strap breaks and the suspect runs away with the purse.

Rahn suffered cuts to her head, elbows, hip and ankles.

A bystander is seen running away from her cart to help Rahn.

When police arrested Carroll Tuesday, they say he admitted to the crime.

“He admitted that he had borrowed money from a friend and then lost the money at a casino here in town,” Swantek said.

However, authorities remind the public that fighting for your purse is not worth the possibility of losing your life.

Other shoppers agreed.

“I’d let him have it because it’s just not worth that much. It’s not worth losing your life over,” shopper Faye Harwell said.

Carroll’s father said his son suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car wreck a few years ago and was in a coma for a month, which may explain his behavior.

Swantek, however, says Carroll was very well-spoken in their interview and knew exactly what he was doing.

Charges are pending.