Police on Monday were searching for a purse thief in San Gabriel who dragged a single mother 20 feet before getting away with her bag.
The 37-year-old mother, who asked to only be identified as Griselda, said she was taking her son to see a movie about 10 a.m. Saturday but needed to stop at a dry cleaner on Las Tunas Drive first.
As her 7-year-old son waited in the car, Griselda said she was only about 12 feet away when she saw a man walk up to the vehicle.
Griselda shouted “No” as the man opened the door and reached inside. "I thought he was going after my son," she said.
Instead, Griselda said the man grabbed her purse and quickly jumped into a nearby truck.
Griselda said she had a rush of adrenaline and instinctively grabbed onto the truck.
"I remember yelling to him, 'you can't do this to me. I'm a single mom. You can't do this to me,' and I remember feeling, 'you can't do this to my son. You don't get to do that to a little boy,"' Griselda said.
Witnesses said Griselda was dragged about 20 feet before she finally let go of the truck.
Inside the purse were Griselda’s money, credit cards and tickets to the movie she promised her son they would see.
Griselda suffered some scratches and said she walked with a limp the rest of the day, but she said emergency responders did more than just treat her wounds.
Several of them pitched in enough for Griselda to replace her movie tickets and buy some popcorn for her and her son at the show.
"It turned a really sour dark moment into a really joyous one," Griselda said.
Police were still searching for the purse snatcher.