Airman tackles suspected robber, recovers woman’s stolen purse


Brian McCain

DOVER — No injuries were reported and a woman’s purse was recovered after a robbery suspect was tackled to the ground by a U.S. Air Force member on Saturday night, Dover police said.

According to police a 30-year-old woman was allegedly accosted while walking to her vehicle after dinner with friends in the downtown area.

The incident occurred at approximately 8:46 p.m. in the 100 block of West Loockerman Street.

A man confronted the woman and demanded her purse, according to police. She complied while “fearful for her safety due to (the suspect’s) aggressiveness,” Dover police spokesman Master Cpl. Mark Hoffman said.

A nearby witness chased down the suspected robber and tackled him to the ground, police said, recovering the purse. The alleged robber fled on foot, according to police.

A suspect, Brian McCain, 33, of Dover, was arrested without incident shortly afterward near his home in the same block after spotted by police, authorities said. He was charged with second-degree robbery.

Mr. McCain was committed to James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna on a $1,000 secured bond.

The USAF member “did not wish to be identified whatsoever, but is deploying Tuesday night for a lengthy deployment overseas,” Cpl. Hoffman said earlier in the day.

Authorities cautioned citizens about chasing robbery suspects.

“It is not something we recommend, as it can present dangerous situations for the persons getting involved,” Cpl. Hoffman said.

“Ultimately, we suggest being a great witness and reporting a detailed description (approximate height and weight, age, race, sex, clothing, direction of travel, vehicle descriptions, tag numbers, etc.) as quickly as possible.”

While “[i]t’s not uncommon that we see a citizen prevent or stop a criminal or even assist our officers,” according to Cpl. Hoffman, “this case was one of the rarities where we had a citizen actually make the decision to get involved, chase, and take down the suspect.”

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