Off-Duty Officer Helps Stop Purse Snatcher in Fairhope

FAIRHOPE, Ala (WKRG) — An off-duty Mobile Police Officer helps stop a purse snatcher in Fairhope. It happened Wednesday night just after 9:00 p.m. at the WalMart in Fairhope on County Road 48.

Kimberly McDonald is the victim. She spoke exclusively to News 5 about what happened. McDonald says she was in the cereal aisle when she heard a strange grunt and a saw man covering his head and face with a hooded sweatshirt run by.

“My first reaction was somebody was joking with me, and then he turned around and I saw him and I did not know him. So he’s running with my purse.”

McDonald went on to describe what was in her purse, “I had $120 dollars cash in my purse. I had my debit card. my driver’s license. It was really scary.”

According to Fairhope Police, when the suspect made it out of the door he was tackled and pinned to the ground by an off-duty Mobile Police officer who does not want to be named. The off-duty officer held the suspect down until Fairhope police made it to the scene an arrested him.

Fairhope Police say the suspect is 19-year-old Walter Smith. He was taken to the Baldwin County Jail. Smith was also wanted for an outstanding domestic violence warrant in Robertsdale.

Krysten Jackson captured the off-duty officer pinning the suspect to the ground on her cell phone. She tells News 5 what was going through her mind when it all happened, “Just shocked really… like this is happening in Fairhope. Like you don’t hear about anything happening in Fairhope.”

McDonald says the off-duty Mobile Police officer was in the right place at the right time, “I was so grateful I gave him a hug for that because if not I would not have gotten my purse back.”


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