4 men tackle purse snatcher after victim cries for help near Ruth Lyons Alley in downtown Cincinnati

CINCINNATI -- Four good Samaritans put their own well-being at risk Thursday when they heard a woman scream that someone took her purse.

The victim, an attorney who we are not referring to by name, was walking westbound on E. Seventh Street about 11 a.m. when a man approached her from behind and took her purse. He detached from a pull-behind briefcase.

After snatching the purse, the suspect fled southbound on Ruth Lyons Alley, a heavily trafficked area that connects Sixth and Seventh streets.

David Ginsburg, the head of Cincinnati Downtown, Inc., was en route to an appointment in the area when he heard a commotion and and saw the suspect running with the bag.

“The woman who turned out to be the victim is yelling, ‘stop him, stop him, he stole my purse'," he recalled.

Without hesitation, a man who wished to remain anonymous, chased after the purse snatcher and tackled him to the ground.

Ginsburg, who was also in pursuit, jumped on top of the suspect, Shane Wilkins, 35, and solicited help from two other men.

All four held the 5-foot-11, 150-pound suspect at bay until officers arrived.

Ginsburg said Cincinnati police and Hamilton County Sheriff's deputies handcuffed the suspect and took him into custody.

The victim recovered all of her belongings, which consisted of about $500 in cash, several credit cards and other documents.

In hindsight, Ginsburg and the other men involved know they put their own safety at risk. But they thought they were doing the right thing.

“I felt like we had enough manpower there to overpower this person and if we could just keep his hands on the ground nothing bad was going to happen,” Ginsburg said.

Wilkins appeared at an arraignment hearing Friday morning along with his attorney.

The attorney argued the theft charge against his client should be a misdemeanor because of the amount of cash the victim had in her purse. However the judge ruled it was a felony due to the fact the purse contained credit cards.

Wilkins' bond was set at $50,000.

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