by: Sara Whaley Updated:TULSA, Okla. —
A Tulsa woman says she’s not a victim, but an overcomer, after fighting a would-be thief in a south Tulsa parking lot last week.
Police say Christopher McKinzie violently attacked Erma Morelli in a parking lot near 51st Street and Harvard Avenue.
Morelli is hoping her story will make others aware.
“You don’t think it can happen until it does,” she said.
Morelli told FOX23 her afternoon coffee run turned into a violent attack.
She said it happened in a matter of seconds; that McKinzie came out of nowhere, and lunged at her trying to grab her purse.
“He slammed me up against a couple of cars and punched me on the backside of the head. I just started kicking and screaming and punching,” Morelli said.
Morelli said she somehow managed to get McKinzie to the ground.
Seconds later, a few bystanders stepped in to help control him until police arrived.
Tulsa Police Department robbery detectives tell us they admire Morelli’s courage; however, they still encourage people to give thieves what they want and never fight back.
Still, Morelli says it’s all she knew to do.
She’s standing by her actions and is happy she didn’t give in.
“You become a victim when you allow it, but when you fight back, you say ‘no more, not me, not today wrong woman.’”
McKinzie was booked on $50,000 bond.