The Good Stuff: Parking Lot Hero

Parking Lot Hero: Gold medal-winning, Saints-loving grocery bagger lauded for saving woman's purse

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Instinct over personal safety — that’s what suddenly launched a local grocery store employee into the social media limelight.

Juwone Scott, 26, jumped into action when he saw someone snatch a purse from a Brookshire’s shopping cart and take off running.

His quick-thinking soon was shared on social media, attracting dozens of ‘thank you’ messages from others.

Purse snatching victim Crystal Cray thanking Juwone Scott on social media.
Purse snatching victim Crystal Cray thanking Juwone Scott on social media. (Source: Facebook: Crystal Cray)

“I was talking to a customer,” Juwone said, detailing when he first starting running after the purse snatcher.

Juwone says he ran after the man, later identified as 42-year-old Jared Freeman, across the parking lot until Freeman jumped a fence, landing behind another business on nearby Pierremont Road.

When asked why did he chase that purse snatcher, Juwone responded — “My instinct behaviorally acts differently.”

No doubt, because he was the only one in a busy Line Avenue parking lot running after the suspect.

Juwone eventually caught up with Freeman, fought him over that purse, with Freeman letting it go and running off.

"I just want you to know right now, he was right over there putting groceries in a car and didn't hesitate and took off," says a tearful Crystal Cray.

Crystal met with Juwone and his mother, Satara Tasby-Scott, a couple of days after having her purse stolen.

She used that opportunity to pass out hugs, and to explain why Juwone unknowingly was chasing down much more than just a purse.

“It was so awesome to cash my first paycheck,” Crystal said.

She had just begun work at Jason's Deli weeks before and had walked to Brookshires and cashed her check.

Crystal adds, she was told surveillance video revealed Freeman watched her cash her check and then followed her outside.

"My rent was in that purse. My apartment was in that purse. A couple took a chance on me, giving me a place to live while just starting a job," says Crystal.

"My house was in that purse."

As concerned as Juwone’s mother was that he puts himself in possible danger by going after the purse snatcher, she humorously points out that her son likely had the upper hand.

"We were joking the other day, I bet he didn't know Juwone can life 700 to 800 pounds."

26-year-old Juwone Scott at the U.S. Special Olympics in Seattle in 2018
26-year-old Juwone Scott at the U.S. Special Olympics in Seattle in 2018 (Source: Satara Scott)

Juwone has spent years competing with the Special Olympics in weight lifting, running, bowling and a variety of other competitions.

“My concern was always someone would pick on him,” Satara said.

But she says this incident has opened her eyes even more.

"I'm learning he's not the weak person just because he has autism. He can take care of himself," she continues.

As thankful as both are that Juwone successfully tracked down the purse, both Crystal and his mother say they’ve told Juwone to never do something like that again, for his own safety.

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