- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 15, 2002

A 16-year-old Illinois girl whose family was in Washington to honor police officers fought crime herself when she fended off a man trying to steal her purse and helped apprehend him.
The girl and her family were returning to their Alexandria motel Monday night after attending the National Law Enforcement Candlelight Vigil at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, which was part of National Police Week observances.
The family was returning from the Huntington Metro station to the Days Inn motel. At 10:50 p.m., the girl was walking ahead of her family in the 6100 block of Richmond Highway when a man came up behind her and tried to grab her purse from her shoulder.
She held onto the purse even after its straps broke in the struggle, hitting the attacker with her purse and screaming for help as he fled.
Her father, an Illinois police officer, came running to help. As they approached the motel, a security guard said he had seen a man behind the building.
The girl identified the man as her attacker, and her father and the security guard apprehended and held him until Fairfax County police arrived, Fairfax County Police spokesman Ramon Robertson said.
Fairfax County police took Terrence M. Ford, 23, of the 7900 block of Audubon Avenue, to the Mount Vernon District Station and charged him with attempted robbery. Mr. Ford, who works as a delivery man, was held without bond.
Citing security reasons, Fairfax County police declined to identify the girl or her father.

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