A Wal-Mart shopper in Alvin, Texas, who was fed up with people looking the other way when someone does something wrong, chased three men who allegedly were attempting to steal three cases of beer. Authorities eventually caught the men.
The scene was caught on surveillance video. It shows Monique Lawless, 42, who is 5 feet tall and weighs 125 pounds, sprinting out the doors after the suspects. When she spotted them getting into their car parked in a fire lane, she never broke stride. She leapt onto the hood and began stomping on the windshield, attempting to break it. She screamed, “You punks, you are not going to get away with this.”
“Then he started the car, and I knew I needed to get off because he didn’t care and they were laughing at me the whole time in the car,” Lawless told an ABC reporter.
She slid off the car and grabbed the handle of the driver’s side door. The car sped away, dragging Lawless for a short distance before she hit the pavement hard.
“I hit my face and I don’t think my nose is broken, but it swelled up really big,” Lawless said. She declined medical treatment at the scene.
State troopers caught the suspects – three brothers who range in age from 19 to 21 – an hour later at another Wal-Mart and took them into custody. One of them attempted to escape on foot, but a state trooper pinned him against a fence with his vehicle.
“I’m just sick of the lawlessness,” Lawless told the Houston Chronicle. “They knew their chances of getting caught were slim to none. Those kids would have gotten away with it, celebrated their theft and probably continue to do it.”
After she had time to think about though, she said she wouldn’t go to the extreme of jumping on the vehicle if she had it to do over. Police Capt. Chad Fontenot told the Chronicle that he appreciated Lawless’ courage, but she put herself in grave danger.
“Because you don’t know if the person is armed or their mental status, the best people can do is to be a great witness,” he told the newspaper. “Get a license plate and a good description. In this case you had three young men in a vehicle that she took on by herself. Those are not good odds in any situation.”
The suspects face charges of evading arrest and aggravated robbery.