The screams of a woman brought 4 Good Samaritans to her aid last Thursday in downtown Cincinnati. The woman, an attorney whose identity is being protected, screamed that someone had taken her purse. She had been walking westbound along E. Seventh Street at about 11 a.m. A man came up from behind and grabbed her purse which he detached from a pull-behind briefcase.The man took off in a southbound direction on Ruth Lyons Alley, a busy area that connects Sixth and Seventh streets. He was spotted with the handbag as he ran by David Ginsberg, the head of Cincinnati Downtown, Inc. Ginsberg was on his way to an appointment when he heard the commotion and spotted the suspect.
He heard the woman saying ‘stop him, stop him, he stole my purse.’ Another man acted without hesitation and =gave chase, tackling the suspect to the ground. Ginsberg had also been chasing the man. When he reached him, he got on top of the man, Shane Wilkins, 35 and beckoned 2 other men to help.
Together, the 4 men held the 5-foot, 11-inch and 150 pound Wilkins at bay until the Cincinnati police and the Hamilton County Sheriff’s deputies arrived on the scene. The suspect was then handcuffed and taken into custody.
All of the victim’s belongings were recovered intact, including $500 in cash, several credit cards and other papers.
Though Ginsberg and the others knew they were putting themselves at risk, they believed it was the right thing to do. Ginsberg said he knew since there were enough of them to control the man, they could keep his hands on the ground and nothing dangerous could happen.
Wilkins was arraigned Friday and in spite of his attorney arguing for a misdemeanor charge on the basis of the amount of cash involved, the judge ruled it a felony because of the credit cards. Bail was set at $50,000.