A Madison woman is recovering after a brutal purse snatching and attack on Tuesday night. Maria Gaines and her husband, Timothy, were leaving the Walgreens on Gallatin Pike around 10:30 p.m. when two young men approached her and grabbed her purse. When she resisted, one of the men started to punch her repeatedly in the head and pushed her to the ground."I was thinking, ‘What is going on?'" Maria Gaines said. "He turned around and grabbed my purse. I guess my first instinct was to hold on to the purse."She continued, "I just held on to it for dear life. I was screaming for my husband, but he was still driving the car back so he didn't know what was going on."Gaines' husband had left his wife in front of the store to get their car so she would not have to walk in the rain. When he saw the attack he jumped out of the car and chased the suspects. Both men jumped into a waiting car with a third suspect and drove away. The couple followed the suspects in their car, honking their horn and trying to get the attention of police in the area. The couple did not have a cell phone because it was in Gaines' purse, which the men stole."I just started blowing the horn and making as much noise as possible and tried to get as close as we could," Gaines said. The suspects crashed into a car stopped at a red light at the intersection of Gallatin Pike and Old Hickory Boulevard. All three ran from the scene. Police happened to be at a shell station near the intersection where the wreck happened. "My husband ran over to tell the police that it wasn't just someone who did a hit-and-run he is actually a thief," Gaines said. Police caught Clifton Gooch, 20, near the intersection of Old Hickory Boulevard and Douglas Street. Officer said Gooch admitted to stealing Gaines' purse. Police also caught the alleged getaway car driver Tommy Lawrence, 25, after a short foot chase. The third unidentified suspect, who police said hit Gaines, got away. The search for him continues. He is described as a black male in his late teens or early 20s. He stands around five feet, seven inches tall and weighs approximately 145 pounds. Gooch is charged with one count of felony robbery. He does not have a previous adult arrest history in Davidson County. He remains in the Davidson County jail on $10,000 bond. Lawrence is also charged with felony robbery. He also faces charges of evading arrest, failure to render aid, leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury and driving on a suspended license second offense. Lawrence has a lengthy criminal history with convictions for robbery, evading arrest, aggravated burglary, drug possession and leaving the scene of an accident. He remains in the Davidson County Jail on $15,500 bond. Both men are scheduled to be in court May 28, 2013. Anyone with information about the third suspect should contact crime stoppers at 74-CRIME or text CASH to 274637 (CRIMES).
441 Murfreesboro Road Nashville, TN 37210