NEW DETAILS: Woman dragged behind car while trying to stop purse snatchers

A woman was dragged behind a car Thursday night as she tried to stop a group of men from driving away from a northwest Atlanta gas station with her purse.

The victim, Brea Duke, was dragged a short distance through the parking lot of a Shell station on Northside Drive just south of I-75 before letting go, Atlanta police spokesman Officer Jarius Daugherty said. She had minor injuries but declined assistance when emergency officials arrived about 11:30 p.m., he said. 

Duke told Channel 2 Action News she was vacuuming out the trunk of her SUV when three men in a smaller blue SUV pulled up next to her. She looked up to see someone standing at her front passenger door. 

“I see this man ... with my car door open and his hand on my purse,”  she said. “It freaked me out so I just started screaming just to get some people’s attention.”

Dukes said she reached out and grabbed his passenger door, trying to get the man to stop. She acknowledged it was not the best decision, but her adrenaline kicked in.

“I just hold on to the handle and don’t let go, and he drug me about 200 feet,” she said.

She fell in the parking lot before the blue SUV turned south onto Northside Drive. Dukes said she just has a few bumps and bruises, and her designer purse, valued at $2,400, is still missing. 

She is most concerned about the safety of her two young children. 

“I want to protect my family,” she told Channel 2. “These people have my driver’s license. They know where I live.”

The incident was captured on the gas station’s surveillance cameras. Police are still investigating, Daugherty said. 

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