Pregnant NC woman charged with assault for running down man she says stole her purse

Los Angeles Times

A pregnant North Carolina woman is facing a charge of assault with a deadly weapon after she ran down a man accused of stealing her purse in the parking lot of an Asheville Walmart.

TV station WLOS says it happened at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday when Christine Braswell, 26, walked up on a man who was rummaging through her SUV. The man has been identified by multiple media outlets as Robert Raines, 34, of Leicester.

Braswell, who lives in Canton, said Raines took off with her purse when she confronted him, WLOS reported.

"Me being five months pregnant, I chased a little ways then come back, jumped in the car, threw it in gear and come across the curb and ran him over. I was not going to let him get away with it,” she told WLOS.

Video shows the SUV hitting a shirtless Raines in the back as he’s running through the parking lot. He goes flying to the left.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reported Raines was treated at a hospital for minor injuries after he was struck by the 1999 Ford Explorer.

Raines is charged with breaking and entering, larceny and damage to property, reported the Citizen-Times. And Braswell is charged with misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon, according to the Asheville Police Department jail web site.

Social media lauded Braswell for fighting back.

“I'm sorry but he got what he deserved. Too much of this stuff happening. We need to fight back. … The court system doesn’t do anything but give them a little slap or better tap on the wrist,” Teresa Ledbetter posted on Facebook.

“Not saying what she did was right, according to the letter of the law, but when you decide to commit a crime against another person, you do assume a certain amount of risk that that person may be crazier than you, and, as in this case, run you over with a red-orange SUV. … He played a stupid game and they both won a stupid prize,” Dave Conklin wrote.

“I would of done the same thing,” posted Denise Swilling on Facebook. “You know what is sad the way (our) system is she will probably get in more trouble than him that's crazy.”