Motorist Mows Down Purse Thief

A pregnant woman tells News 13 she chased a man and hit him with her SUV in a Walmart parking lot after she says he attempted to steal her purse.

It happened around 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the Walmart on Bleachery Boulevard. News 13 was there and got exclusive video of the incident.

Christine Braswell, 26, and other witnesses we talked to said the man, later identified as Robert Raines, was rummaging through her SUV prior to the incident.

A witness to the alleged break-in, Blake Bennett, told News 13 he confronted Raines.

“When I walked out of Walmart, he had her purse and was pulling all of her stuff out,” Bennett said. “Then me and my friend told him to put it down and ‘What are you doing?'”

Braswell said Raines ran away with her purse and dropped some other items when she confronted him. She said she initially chased after him on foot but decided to pursue him in her vehicle because she’s pregnant.

“He was with my purse and he took off and I took off after him,” Braswell told News 13. “Me being five months pregnant, I chased a little ways then come back, jumped in the car, threw it in gear and come across the curb and ran him over. I was not going to let him get away with it. It’s not right, it’s not fair.”

Raines was transported to the hospital after the incident. Asheville police told News 13 he is expected to be OK and only suffered minor injuries.

Raines is charged with felony breaking and entering, larceny and misdemeanor damage to property. Braswell claims the man broke the screens on her iPad and phone. The Asheville Police Department told News 13 that is where the misdemeanor damage to property comes from.

Braswell is charged with misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon.


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