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Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Accused purse snatcher jailed for third time in 2022

John Paul Earl McDonald
John Paul Earl McDonald

A Tavares man jailed twice already this year was arrested again after he allegedly took off with a woman’s purse and scuffled with her when she chased him down.

John Paul Earl McDonald, 48, of 11924 Lane Park Road Lot 9, was charged Friday with robbery by sudden snatching and simple battery without a weapon. He’s being held on $3,000 bond in the Lake County Jail.

McDonald was previously arrested in March and charged with unarmed burglary of an unoccupied conveyance and petit theft of between $100 and $300. He was also arrested in January on charges of possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug equipment, and petit theft, according to jail records.

The victim told a Lake County sheriff’s deputy she was at a friend’s house on Northern Avenue in Leesburg when McDonald walked in, grabbed her purse and took off on a bicycle. She said she pursued McDonald and when she caught up with him, they started to physically fight. The victim said McDonald held her against a fence with his forearm. She said she and McDonald both fell to the ground, and McDonald got up and took off again on the bicycle, according to the police report.

The victim said the purse contained miscellaneous items, including a debit card, credit card and $50 in cash, the report said.

The deputies found McDonald behind a residence on Lakeland Avenue in Leesburg. After being read his Miranda warning, McDonald told the deputies he had been at his house all day. When asked what happened between him and the victim, he said the two of them had an argument in front of the residence. McDonald said the victim got angry and left. Asked where the victim’s purse was, McDonald said she left it at his house, according to the report.

McDonald will answer to the charges in Lake County Court on July 11.

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