Florida grandmother fights off would-be robber in bank parking lot

An 82-year-old Florida grandmother knows she can be an enticing target to criminals, but proved Monday she still knows how to fight back.

Mary Barrineau told FOX13 Tampa she was outside a Bank of America in Tarpon Springs, located just outside Tampa, when a woman snatched her purse out of Barrineau's car.

“She grabbed it out of the backseat. She opened the door and just grabbed it and then she ran to her car and I ran after her,” Barrineau said.

Even though the suspect, identified by police as Jennifer Kearin, claimed to have a gun, the 82-year-old said she was not going to let her get away.

Florida Arrest

Jennifer Kearin was arrested Monday.  (Tarpon Springs Police Department/FOX 13 Tampa)

“I started scratching her face and everything and grabbed her blouse, and I held on real tight to her blouse and I wasn't going to let her go,” she said.

Inside the grandmother's purse was more than $1,000 she needed for her son's medical care.

“I hope you learned a lesson, that you can't go around taking things that don't belong to you."

- Mary Barrineau

“That's what he gets for his disability, and nobody's going to take that,” she told FOX13.

Barrineau said she was able to hold Kearin until police were able to arrive and arrest her. Kearin is now in the Pinellas County Jail on an armed robbery charge and probation violation, according to FOX13.

The grandmother, who said she's "always been a scrapper," told FOX13 she would defended herself all over again.

“I hope you learned a lesson, that you can't go around taking things that don't belong to you,” Barrineau said.