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Former Marine Foils Purse Snatcher In Blaine

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(credit: CBS) Jennifer Mayerle
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A would-be thief who picked the wrong woman to mess with is in jail.

Blaine Police say Christopher Samuels tried to snatch Kathy George’s purse outside a Cub Foods on Tuesday. She is still shaken after the tussle.

“It felt uncomfortable from the start,” George said.

She went to get her daughter a donut for her last day of school when she says Samuels began following her outside.

“I could see with my peripheral vision that someone was right there, and just as I saw him he grabbed my purse, and that’s when the struggle began,” she said.

The two fought in the parking lot.

“I kind of surprised myself because I was fighting back. At one point we both went down to the ground, we’re wrestling on asphalt. He’s regaining control of my purse and then I am, and the whole time I’m thinking, ‘What am I doing? I can’t believe I’m doing this. He could have a weapon,'” George said. “The contents in this purse are not worth my life.”

Tarl Fruge was across the street watching his kids softball game when he heard George’s cry for help.

“She’s got a set of lungs on her,” Fruge said.

That’s when his military training kicked in.

“I dropped everything, kicked my flip flops off and just ran over as fast as I could,” he said.

The former Marine tackled Samuels.

“On the ground, put his hands behind his back and then just held him there until police came,” Fruge said.

The straps are broken, but George has her purse. She also has a renewed faith in Good Samaritans.

“There are people out there who’ll be willing to step in and risk their lives and help others out,” George said.

Fruge says he’d do the same thing all over again, and George says she’d let go of the purse next time – which is what police recommend.

If someone tries to steal from you, police say you should let them take what you have instead of struggling, then call 911.

Samuels is charged with attempted simple robbery and attempted theft.

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