Military vet pepper-sprayed, hit by vehicle while attempting to stop theft

Almost $1K worth of merchandise found inside suspects' vehicle, police say

ORLANDO, Fla. – A military veteran said he was at the right place at the right time Saturday afternoon when two suspected thieves tried to get away with merchandise from a Victoria's Secret store.

Brent Adams said he had just pulled into the parking lot at the Waterford Lakes Town Center at about 2 p.m. when he saw two women running with clothing in their hands.

"The two girls came flying out of the Victoria's Secret," Adams said. "They were cursing at me and she got into her car. She noticed me approaching. She opened her car door and she had a canister of (pepper spray) and she started firing (it) at me."

Adams said that he was able to turn his head, so the pepper spray didn't get into his eyes.

Orange County deputies said moments before that, an employee inside the Victoria's Secret said the two, Rosciara Pugh, 25, and Ta'quieta Pugh, 27, were filling shopping bags with clothing without any intent to pay for the merchandise.

Detectives said an employee attempted to knock one of the bags out of their hands, when she, too, was pepper-sprayed by one of the suspects.

Adams said while he was standing in front of the suspect's vehicle, the driver hit him.

"They pulled forward and they hit my knees enough to put me on the hood, and I used my hands to stop myself," Adams said. "That's when I -- I had my hand on the hood and put my hand back and I drew my firearm."

While Adams pointed his hand-gun at the suspects, a retired officer also noticed the commotion and drew his firearm.

They said the women cried as they waited for deputies to arrive.

Inside their vehicle deputies said they found two cans of pepper spray and merchandise from Victoria's Secret valued at $971.52.

Both women were arrested on charges of armed robbery, grand theft and aggravated battery with a motor vehicle and have since bonded out of jail.

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