'That guy stole my mother's purse': Girl, 11, wrestles man over handbag, witnesses help

Posted: Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A 26-year-old man allegedly wrestled a purse away from an 11-year-old girl at Louie's Restaurant in Kenai on Friday evening. With assistance from other restaurant goers, Kenai Police arrested Daniel McCurdy and recovered many of the items in the bag.

Julie Dorsey was dining at Louie's with her two daughters, ages 11 and 8, when Dorsey got up to use the restroom, according to reports. The 11-year-old daughter said when her mother got up to head to the bathroom, a man walked toward their table and hovered nearby. The man then snatched the purse and ran toward the exit.

"She said she got up and grabbed the purse handle and told the man to put the purse back because it didn't belong to him," Kenai Police Sgt. Ben Langham's affidavit states.

Kenai Fire Marshal Eric Wilcox was in the restaurant having dinner with his wife when the incident took place.

"I saw the girl basically get drug or slammed into the interior door," Wilcox said. "She hit the door real hard and went down and got back up and said 'That guy stole my mother's purse.'"

When McCurdy fled with the purse, one patron chased after him in his vehicle while Wilcox notified police dispatch, Wilcox recalled.

Dorsey later reported that her purse contained at least $650 worth of stuff, including a cell phone, camera, two credit cards, two debit cards and other personal belongings.

Langham's report says that a witness, Marilyn Wolf, saw McCurdy run into the woods near Lake Street. With the help of a canine, police found McCurdy about 10 minutes later in possession of Dorsey's red Samsung cell phone.

Police found Dorsey's camera, which had been thrown into an open field, but they were not able to locate the purse or other belongings, according to the report.

McCurdy was arraigned on four felony charges on Jan. 9 in criminal district court. One charge was a class B robbery felony and three charges were class C felonies: theft, assault injuring a child and tampering with physical evidence. McCurdy is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Jan. 19.

Police also arrested McCurdy's 17-year-old sister, who had been in Louie's at the time of the robbery, for lying to the police about what allegedly took place.

She was also arrested on charges of sixth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance.

Andrew Waite can be reached at andrew.waite@peninsulaclarion.com.

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