Woman pepper-sprays purse snatcher in Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach police seek man who tried to steal purse from woman walking home

By Sheli Muniz - Reporter

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Daytona Beach police are looking for a man who was pepper-sprayed in the face after snatching a woman's purse as she walked home.

The incident happened Wednesday night near the Bellaire Plaza on North Atlantic Avenue.

The 27-year-old woman told Local 6 she carries the pepper spray and thought she would never actually need to use it.

"I was walking back from a friend's house and a guy was walking nonchalantly behind me. He seemed normal," said Myra Droddy.

Droddy told police that he started walking faster, closer, trying to catch up to her and that is when he started pulling at her purse.

"I pulled out my pepper spray and I sprayed him and I emptied the pepper spray on him," said Droddy.

Droddy took off and came upon her fiancé, Stephen Felderman, who called 911.

"It just upsets me that somebody would attack a single woman, especially one who is 5 feet tall, 110 pounds. It's just easy prey," Felderman said.

Now, Daytona Beach and plaza security guards need to find the guy before he does it again. Police said the thief was a white man in his 30s who is about 6 feet tall with a red baseball cap. Police said he might even have orange dye on his face from the mace.

"You shouldn't have to look over your shoulder, especially in a Publix shopping plaza," said Felderman.

Droddy fears for other women, saying, "Hopefully, he doesn't approach somebody that doesn't have pepper spray or a weapon to protect themselves."

Droddy told Local 6 she was not only upset that she was attacked but that her purse had been stolen. It was a gift from a family member who died just a few months ago.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Daytona Beach Detective Ricky Ray by email at rayr@dbpd.us or calling 386-671-5231

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