Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa police honor citizen's bold action in purse snatching case

TAMPA — Phillip Blue stood nervously in front of the room filled with police officers and media Tuesday afternoon as he received his plaque for an act of bravery.

Tampa Police Major Sophie Teague and Chief Steve Hogue presented the construction worker with the Chief's Citizen Appreciation Award for his part in foiling a purse snatcher on June 16.

Blue, 29, of Gibsonton, was on his way to work after grabbing lunch from a Publix at 2427 W Hillsborough Ave. when he heard an employee yell "He's got her purse."

Second earlier, a young man had snatched a purse from 81-year-old Gertrudis Bosch while she perused cheese with her 80-year-old brother Ramone.

Police say Blue then turned and grabbed the suspect as he came running out of the store —black bag in hand —and tried to hop on a bicycle. Blue subdued him long enough for store employees to come out and help, and for the suspect to drop the bag.

"What he did for us that day was helped return her property," Teague said.

Teague said purse snatchers typically remove the money and throw the purse away, leaving the victim with no way to get back their belongings.

Bosch said she was grateful because her car keys were in her bag. "Without them I had no way to get home or buy the things I was shopping for," she said.

Blue said he was honored to be recognized for just doing what he thought was right.

"You shouldn't expect an award for doing something like this," he said. "But it was great to receive it."

Tampa police honor citizen's bold action in purse snatching case 07/14/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 14, 2009 7:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Dodgers close in on World Series with 6-1 win over Cubs


    CHICAGO — Yu Darvish pitched into the seventh inning, Chris Taylor homered again and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs 6-1 on Tuesday night to open a commanding 3-0 lead in the NL Championship Series.

    Los Angeles Dodgers' Chris Taylor hits a home run Tuesday during the third inning of Game 3 of baseball's National League Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs. [Associated Press]
  2. Peter Budaj, Lightning lose to Devils in shootout; Nikita Kucherov scores

    Lightning Strikes

    NEWARK, N.J. — For Peter Budaj, Tuesday's season debut had a shaky start.

    The Lightning’s Vladislav Namestnikov, right, battles Damon Severson for the puck.
  3. Mother's testimony about toddler's death brings judge to tears


    TAMPA — Nayashia Williams woke up early on May 7, 2014, to the sound of her daughter calling for her. It was the last time the young mother's mornings would begin with a summons from Myla Presley, who couldn't yet climb over the mesh fencing around the playpen she used as a bed.

    Deandre Gilmore looks towards the gallery Tuesday in a Tampa courtroom. Gilmore is accused of killing the 19 month-old daughter of his girlfriend in 2014. He said the child fell while he was giving her a bath. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  4. Speakers: Getting tough can't be only response to teen car thefts


    ST. PETERSBURG — Bob Dillinger remembers coming to Pinellas County as a legal intern in 1975. There were five major poverty zones in St. Petersburg.

    Wengay Newton, Florida House of Representatives (in front, in center), talks as a panelist to a packed room during a community forum on "Reclaiming our Youth: Is Juvenile Justice a Reality?" at the Dr. Carter G. Woodson Museum in St. Petersburg Wednesday evening (10/17/17). The event was presented by the Fred G. Minnis, Sr. Bar Association. Community leaders discussed the ongoing auto theft epidemic among Pinellas youth.
  5. Internal White House documents allege manufacturing decline increases abortions, infertility and spousal abuse


    White House officials working on trade policy were alarmed last month when a top adviser to President Donald Trump circulated a two-page document that alleged a weakened manufacturing sector leads to an increase in abortion, spousal abuse, divorce and infertility, two people familiar with the matter told the …