Purse snatcher sentenced 15 years

OKEECHOBEE — Charles Stratton, the purse snatcher who backed his car over an elderly victim in a McDonald’s parking lot in 2018, was sentenced to 15 years in state prison on Jan. 16.

Charles Stratton

On Dec. 6, 2018, about 10:30 p.m., a 76-year-old woman and her friend were sitting in a booth at McDonald’s on State Road 70 when Stratton walked past, then leaned over from an adjoining booth, grabbed her purse, ran out of the restaurant and jumped in his car. The purse had been on the seat between the victim and the wall.

The victim chased him out of the restaurant and tried to stop him. As she was standing beside his open car door, he backed out, hitting her with the door, leaving her lying on the pavement.

The victim was transported to the hospital, where she spent several days.

The incident was captured on video by the restaurant’s security cameras. The video was widely spread by the news media and online. Okeechobee officials were able to identify the suspect from information provided by those who saw the video.

Stratton said he turned himself in at the behest of his sister, who said he should make things right. Assistant State Attorney Ashley Albright said he asked the judge to give Stratton 30 years, but he got 15.

Stratton’s wife, who was in his vehicle at the time of the incident, was initially charged as well, but those charges were later dropped.

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