US Marine chases down alleged robber in Chinatown after purse snatching

He’s a lieutenant and a gentleman.

A US Marine chased an alleged robber for four city blocks, all to save a woman’s purse, according to the Suffolk district attorney’s office.

A 41-year-old woman was walking on Beach Street in Chinatown about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday when a man allegedly snatched her purse from behind, district attorney’s spokesman Jake Wark said today in a statement

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The woman screamed, which caught the attention of a Marine Corps lieutenant who happened to be in the area. The 23-year-old marine from Corona, Calif., instantly took off after the alleged thief, said Wark.

“This young man saw what was happening and sprinted into action,” District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said in the statement.

The Marine chased 26-year-old Demetrick Nealy for four blocks, tackled him to the ground and held him there until Boston police arrived, said Wark.

The woman was OK — she complained of soreness from where the alleged assailant pushed her, but declined medical attention. Her purse was completely intact, and nothing was missing, said Wark.

“She was lucky to have a Good Samaritan looking out for her, but even luckier that he was a Marine,” Conley said.

Boston police arrested Nealy. The Roslindale man pleaded not guilty today in Boston Municipal Court to one count of unarmed robbery. He is being held on $5,000 cash bail.

Nealy is to return to court April 11, according to Wark.