Springfield native stops robber from taking 72-year-old woman’s purse

A Springfield native is being hailed a hero after stopping a would-be robber from taking a 72-year-old woman’s purse.

Paris Valles, who grew up in Springfield and lives in Cleveland, was praying Sunday at the Cleveland Korean Presbyterian Church when he heard commotion outside, he said.

“I heard the lady say ‘call 911’ and I just got up and went outside and the guy had robbed her of her purse,” he said. “I took off after him, caught him and got her purse back.”

The suspect was able to get away from the incident without being arrested, Valles said, but he was thankful the woman didn’t lose any of her belongings.

“It’s nothing special,” Valles said of his actions. “I think anybody would have done it in that situation.”

However, Valles’ actions caught the attention of a Cleveland news station who ran a story on Valles this week. The victim told Cleveland’s Fox 8 that she was happy to get her purse back as part of that story.

“Somebody showed up and pulled a knife on (me). And he said, ‘Gimme your handbag.’ So I gave him the handbag. He had a knife,” the victim said in the story.

Valles told the Springfield News-Sun the victim was OK after the incident but was scared and shook up.

“She was thankful, I go to that church and she was my church member,” Valles said. “She tried to give me an extra plate of rice at church dinner.”

Valles moved from Springfield when he was in high school but still has family in the area. He encourages everyone to be more careful now that the weather is colder because crooks are more desperate.

“Be more alert of your surroundings,” he said.

About the Author