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Grandmother attacked trying to help Sand Springs store employee

Peggy Swineheart
Theft Suspects
Suspect Car
Posted at 4:35 PM, Nov 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-10 19:31:33-05

SAND SPRINGS, Okla. — A grandmother is recovering after being punched in the face at a Sand Springs Atwoods.

Sand Springs police say around 5:30 Tuesday night, two women tried to steal piles of coats from the store.

Police say store employees confronted two women as they were leaving, and a store employee knocked the clothes out of the women's hands. That’s when officers say one of the women put the employee in a chokehold and both women started punching him.

Peggy Swineheart, 71, saw the attack and says she knew she needed to step in and help the employee.

“It was a serious headlock," Swineheart says. "I thought she was going to kill him. I don’t care if I'd died. If you see something like that happening, you can’t just do nothing. You just can’t."

She says she punched the woman until she let the store employee go and turned her attention to her.

“Here above my eye she hit me so hard it split open and was bleeding and then she hit me again in the temple,” Swineheart said.

Theft Suspects

The 71-year-old, who’s celebrating her birthday Wednesday, was taken to the hospital. She’s had a headache, but ultimately is doing OK.

“I’m grateful for the outcome," she says. "The kid is okay. I’m okay."

Sand Springs police are hoping surveillance video will help identify the two women. They’re also looking for a third person who drove the getaway car.

Suspect Car

“Obviously they had a plan on what they were looking for and what they were going to do when they left,” said Sand Springs Deputy Chief of Police Todd Enzbrenner.

Police say one of the women left her cell phone at the store. They’re getting a search warrant to look into that phone.

Enzbrenner says despite Swinheart's story, it’s dangerous to interfere with suspected criminals. He says you should be a good witness, getting details and taking down license plates number to provide to police.

“The help we need is to observe and report," he says.

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