Accused Christmas Eve purse-snatcher faces felony

Grafton man who is charged with hurting woman as he wrestled bag from her arrested after bystander steps in
By 
BILL SCHANEN IV
Ozaukee Press staff

A 29-year-old man was charged in Ozaukee County Circuit Court last week with snatching the purse of a woman shopping on Christmas Eve in the Grafton Meijer store and hurting her as she struggled to hang on to her handbag.

Michael T. Roy of Grafton, who told authorities he has a “very bad substance abuse problem” and had used heroin earlier in the day, was arrested after a man in the store grabbed him and held him on the ground until police officers arrived, according to the criminal complaint.

Roy is charged with robbery with use of force and bail jumping, both felonies. 

He was previously convicted of several drug crimes and is now charged as a repeat offender, which means Roy would face additional time in prison if convicted.

According to the criminal complaint, a 57-year-old woman told authorities she was shopping in the Christmas section at Meijer with her purse on the child seat of her shopping cart when a man wearing a dark hoodie, who was later identified as Roy, approached her and told her she had dropped some money.

When she turned around to look, the woman said, Roy grabbed her purse. She was hanging onto the bag, which also got caught on her wedding ring, and was knocked into a shelf. She got up, began screaming and started chasing Roy but slipped and fell, the complaint states.

Another woman said she heard someone yelling “my purse, my purse” and saw Roy slip something under his sweatshirt. She said she pushed her cart into Roy, who pushed it back, knocking the woman into a display. As Roy ran past her, the woman grabbed his hood and started yelling, “He stole a lady’s purse,” according to the complaint.

A large man then came running and grabbed Roy, who told him he was just kidding. The man told Roy not to move until police officers arrived, and when Roy tried to run away, the man put him on the ground and held him there, the complaint states.

After officers arrested Roy, they asked if he was injured. Roy said he was physically OK but that he had psychological and drug abuse problems and that in addition to using heroin earlier in the day he had taken “bonzos,” or tranquilizers, according to the complaint.

Drugs are a common theme in Roy’s criminal record. 

In September 2013, authorities were called to the Town of Port Washington group home where Roy was living at the time and found him in the kitchen with the lights off. His speech was slow and quiet, and when officers searched him they found heroin and a hypodermic needle.

He pleaded guilty to second-offense possession of narcotic drugs and was sentenced to two years in prison followed by two years of extended supervision.

In 2012, Roy was sentenced to 18 months in prison followed by 18 months of extended supervision after pleading no contest to a second-offense possession of marijuana change. 

  But a pending possession of heroin case in Milwaukee County is being handled much differently than the Ozaukee County cases that resulted in prison sentences for Roy.  

In Milwaukee County, Roy was accepted into a deferred prosecution program and, based on his compliance, is scheduled to appear in court for a final review later this month, according to court records.

In deferred prosecution programs, defendants are given opportunities to have their charges reduced or dismissed if they comply with court-ordered conditions.

Roy is free on bail, a condition of which is not to commit any crimes, in the Milwaukee County case, which is why he was charged with bail jumping in the Ozaukee County purse-snatching case.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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