Criminal Justice

Lawyer won't be charged for hitting alleged purse snatcher who bit him (see video)


A lawyer who held an alleged purse snatcher on Tuesday until police arrived shouldn’t be charged for hitting the suspect after she bit him, according to a police sergeant who viewed the video.

Grand Rapids lawyer Jonathan Damon straddled the suspect, who pleaded with Damon to let her go. “Dude, get off me,” she repeated. When the suspect bit Damon and held on, he hit her a few times. “You just assaulted me!” the suspect yelled. MLive.com has the story and the video.

Damon was defending himself when he punched the woman and did not commit a crime, Grand Rapids police Captain Pete McWatters tells the Grand Rapids Press in a story published on Wednesday. “Based on the circumstances, we have not considered charging him,” McWatters said. Kent County prosecutors will make any final decisions, however.

Pedestrians tackled the woman after she grabbed the purse of a 75-year-old woman at a sidewalk restaurant while riding past on her bicycle. The suspect, Mikayla Danielle Hull, will be charged with larceny from a person and aggravated assault, MLive.com reports in a later story.

The woman whose purse was taken fell to the ground, landing on her face. She had only a minor injury.

“Dude, she’s rich, she’s eating at a restaurant,” Hull can be heard telling Damon on MLive.com’s video.

Damon tells MLive.com in a story published on Thursday that he got a tetanus shot and a prescription for antibiotics for the bite wound. He said he believed the suspect was a man; indeed, in an interview immediately after the incident he repeatedly referred to the suspect as a “he,” the story says.

“I was raised to never hit a girl,” Damon told MLive.com. “I was raised at a time when you had no concept of a girl doing that. In the 1950s, girls didn’t snatch purses. They wore petticoats.”

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