Navy Veteran Rescues Senior Citizen During Daytime Assault
Kristin Danley 12/8/2016
A 76-year-old woman was walking through a parking lot when she suddenly felt herself being forced to the ground. Frightened and fearing for her life, the woman knew she couldn't fight off the attacker. The events that unfolded next are ones she could have never predicted.
The elderly woman, Rosemary Carlton, was shopping at her local Winn-Dixie in Florida and was leaving the store when she was attacked right by her car. The assailant was targeting her purse. What's even more shocking is that the 23-year-old man was trying to snatch her purse in broad daylight and got physical with the elderly woman.
Rosemary began screaming as the young man wrestled her purse away from her. He tried covering her mouth and pushing her into her car while she clutched the seat belt. Kendrick Taylor, 24, a college student at Full Sail University at the time, was headed to the gym located in that same strip mall and happened to be at the right place at just the right time. Kendrick is not someone you want to confront.
At first glance, Kendrick is a tough guy, a Navy veteran. While as a guest on The Ellen Show, Kendrick said he actually had his headphones on, but felt uneasy, that something was wrong, so he took off his headphones and checked his surroundings. Kendrick told WESH-TV that he then heard the woman screaming and saw the thief assaulting her. Kendrick told reporters he didn't think twice about helping the woman. He sprinted over to the situation, targeting the assailant.
"She was screaming for help. That's when I went over to help her. When I looked down, I didn't know if he had a knife or gun, but I just saw the lady ... When he threw her down, she was so fragile, I knew she needed help."
Then as the assailant took off on foot trying to flee the scene of the crime, Kendrick chased after him, threw him on the ground and held him there until the police arrived. Other people in the parking lot had stepped up to help at this point and had called 911.
Afterward, Kendrick shrugged off his good deed while being interviewed by WESH-TV as just something he hoped anyone else would do if they were in his position. He told The Ellen Show that once the police appeared and his help was no longer needed, he called his mom, Marion, who he described as his best friend. His mom, who lives in Chicago, told him he was a hero.
"What if that was my Grandma? He definitely needed to face some jail time. He has to know what he did was very wrong."
Kendrick told The Ellen Show that the police retrieved him from the gym so Rosemary could meet him. The senior citizen thanked him for rescuing her and expressed her gratitude. He kissed her on the cheek and told her he was glad she would be okay.
According to police reports, the suspect was already on probation at the time of the assault and theft. He was charged with robbery and attempted battery on a person age 65 or older. The woman got her purse back, but still suffered cuts and bruises. Her family said she was traumatized by the assault, but were thankful for Kendrick who came to her rescue and the other people who helped.
Not only did Kendrick walk away feeling good about helping the senior citizen, but he also was very modest when he received the Medal of Merit from the Orland Orange County Sheriff's Office for his swift actions in saving a victim of a personal crime. Kendrick and his mom, Marion, while appearing on The Ellen Show, also received a $10,000 reward and other surprises from Ellen DeGeneres.