Man steals purse, runs over elderly woman for money to buy crack cocaine

    Charles Alton Stratton Jr. (Okeechobee Sheriff's Office)

    A 76-year-old woman is home recovering after she was dragged by a car and ran over in the city limits of Okeechobee.

    It happened in the McDonald's parking lot on NE Park Street. Before the woman was dragged, she was robbed.

    In surveillance video, the woman can be seen sitting in a booth with a friend when a man comes up behind her, grabs her purse and takes off. The woman runs after him into the parking lot, where she was later run over.

    The driver, Charles Stratton Jr., was arrested for strong armed robbery after he turned himself in. Police said he confessed to everything and said he used the cash in the woman's purse for crack cocaine.

    "I just couldn’t believe someone would do that to a woman that age, that poor woman had to be scared to death, but I saw how brave she was and went after him. I’m just glad she’s alright," Therese Lewis said.

    Lewis has spent every winter in Okeechobee for the last six years. Everyone CBS12 News spoke to on Monday said the city is so quaint and nothing like this ever happens here.

    When Lewis saw the video for herself, she was shocked.

    "Just so sad for that lady, and it knocked her right down," she said as she watched the clip.

    Lewis said she's not scared to be in the area, but is going to keep an extra eye out.

    "It makes me feel a little more cautious," she said.

    The detective on the case said they are still investigating. Stratton's wife was in the car with him.

    She hasn't been charged with anything yet.

    McDonald's also released a response to the incident.:

    We are saddened by the violence that occurred at our restaurant in Okeechobee, FL. Our top priority is always the safety and well-being of our employees and customers at our restaurants. We are cooperating with law enforcement.

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