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Purse-snatcher held down, punched in the face during citizens' arrest

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Published on Sep 19, 2013

GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- The woman who allegedly snatched a purse off an outdoor table of a downtown eatery -- before she was captured and held by bystanders in an incident caught on video -- is to face two charges, police say.

Police identified Mikayla Danielle Hull, 24, as the suspect held for the 1:20 p.m. Tuesday purse-snatching at Ottawa Avenue NW and Monroe Center. She is jailed and awaiting arraignment.

The video has generated high interest among MLive readers, mostly because of a physical exchange between Hull and bystander Jonathan Damon. As Damon holds Hull down until police arrive, the woman can be seen biting his wrist and Damon, in response, punches her head.

The owner of the purse, a 75-year-old woman, sustained a minor injury after she fell and hit her chin while trying to stop the snatcher.

Hull is to be charged with larceny from a person and aggravated assault, Grand Rapids police Capt. Pete McWatters said.

McWatters said she also has made admissions about her involvement in a Monday home invasion in the 600 block of Grand Avenue NE.

When she was arrested Tuesday, police allegedly found a checkbook, two passports and other identification related to the Grand Avenue address in a backpack Hull was wearing.

The suspect was riding a bicycle when she reached out and grabbed the purse from a table at Parsley Mediterranean Grille, witnesses said.

Bystanders managed to quickly grab her, however.

McWatters said he watched the MLive video and he does not plan to pursue any action against Damon.

"I don't think a crime was committed by him. To the contrary, he was defending himself," McWatters said.

"Based on the circumstances, we have not considered charging him," McWatters said.

However, he said Kent County prosecutors will make any final decision on whether Damon did anything wrong. A police report will be forwarded to prosecutors for review.

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